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  1. #1
    Senior Member domerdude's Avatar
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    How good is this Defense?


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    It's no news that the strength of the Notre Dame football team is on the defense. Specifically the front seven. Here are a few facts/stats that tell part of the story.

    The Notre Dame Defense...

    Is currently ranked 4th in total defense allowing 9.0 PPG. The leader in this category is TCU (4.3), which has beaten the likes of Grambling St and Virginia

    The D is tied for 9th in sacks per game, averaging 3.5. The leader (TAMU) is getting 5.3 sacks per game. South Carolina St (Cough cough).

    Notre Dame has allowed 3 total touchdowns, all through the air. Not allowing a rushing TD despite playing against Navy, Purdue, MSU and UM all of which rank in the top 53 in total rushing offense.

    The D is tied for 2nd in interceptions and total turnovers. (Fifth in turnover margin, but more of a total team stat).

    My questions for debate are...

    ... How far can the D take us? 3 top 20 opponents currently left of the schedule that will certainly test anyone.
    ...Would Aaron Lynch have given us any more defensive production or just taken away from the others and provided depth?
    ... How good will the D be next year, after Manti, KLM and others leave?

    What say you?
    :nunchaks:
    Nobody calls me Lebowski. You got the wrong guy. I'm the Dude, man.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bayirish's Avatar
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    Good defense wins championships - but you have to have some offensive production as well. But i'll take an ugly win any day of the week.

    Lynch would have helped, no doubt, guy is a beast. Hope he enjoyed watching his team lose to ball state last saturday. With Tuitt as good as he is, can you imagine if OL was keyed on Lynch as well? They'd be unstoppable. That said, I've heard Lynch was a cancer in the locker room, and he got penalized way too much last year.

    Manti, KLM, and Motta leave, but look at who stays - Fox, Calabrese, Tuitt, Day, Shembo, Nix, Springmann, CB's, and we get Lo Wood back, Slaughter is eligible for a 6th year, and Jaylon Smith is coming. I think they'll be fine.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NDgrandson's Avatar
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    I think Lynch is probably better than anyone but Tuitt at DT. Also, how good would the defense be if we had some experienced playmakers in the secondary? The youngans are holding their own, but the front seven is wreaking havoc and serving up opportunities for the secondary.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NDgrandson's Avatar
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    I haven't heard Slaughter got a 6th. Where did you hear that?

  5. #5
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    Lynch is better off where he is. The kid loves Florida and had no real ambition to be a "Notre Dame Man". I think he was one fo those guys that saw ND as a stop on the way to the NFL before anything else. That's not necessarily a bad thing for kid that good. He knows he is going to the league after 3 years, so why need be near his lady?

  6. #6
    Senior Member IrishGrizz's Avatar
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    My questions for debate are...

    ... How far can the D take us? 3 top 20 opponents currently left of the schedule that will certainly test anyone.
    ...Would Aaron Lynch have given us any more defensive production or just taken away from the others and provided depth?
    ... How good will the D be next year, after Manti, KLM and others leave?

    What say you
    ?
    1) D can take us as far as the O will allow- meaning the Offense will decide how far we end up - record wise.
    2) Who cares? Moot point
    3) I believe the D can be just as good, if not better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDgrandson View Post
    I haven't heard Slaughter got a 6th. Where did you hear that?
    Everything I've seen suggests that it's very UNlikely that Slaughter will get a sixth year because he sat out the first year merely to preserve eligibility and not because of another injury.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by domerdude View Post
    ... How good will the D be next year, after Manti, KLM and others leave?

    What say you?
    Losing Manti will make me sad (not too sad since he'll be an early draft pick) because I will miss watching him in an Irish uniform. Also, it's hard to imagine not taking a hit when you lose the best linebacker in the country. However, this is part of being a good team. The best teams lose guys in the first round every year because they have good players every year. The key is too make sure that the people who are still there are prepared to produce.

    No one will "replace" Manti Te'o, period, just like no one could "replace" Michael Floyd. The key is for the coaches to have plenty of other good players and get 11 of them in the position to succeed based on their own strengths and to downplay their weaknesses. Bob Diaco has done a lot this year to convince me that he can do that, given the quality of athlete we have continued to recruit.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by domerdude View Post
    My questions for debate are...

    ... How far can the D take us?
    To the Meinike Car Care Bowl without a ground game.

  10. #10
    Moderator HoffVir's Avatar
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    [ Diaco video if you follow the link ]

    Defense turning around Notre Dame fortunes
    Irish haven't allowed rushing TD in 6 games and have forced 13 turnovers, tied for 2nd in country
    By Brian Hamilton, Chicago Tribune reporter
    9:59 p.m. CDT, September 26, 2012

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — All the moment required was hanging back, keeping all action humming innocently in front of him. Halftime was seconds away. Then KeiVarae Russell locked eyes with Denard Robinson.

    Oh, man, Notre Dame's freshman cornerback thought. Here it comes.

    And so it did, with Michigan's quarterback unleashing another airborne prayer into the jowls of the defense. And like the four before it, that pass attempt landed in Notre Dame's hands, Russell's interception just another in the Irish medley of big plays that left Robinson picked apart.

    "It felt good to contribute," Russell said Wednesday. "I thought I was being an outsider for a minute. I was like, 'Everybody's getting picks but me. What's going on?'"

    Typically, it has been opposing offenses left searching for answers. Notre Dame boasts the nation's No. 4 scoring defense and hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown in six games, but the unbeaten record and top 10 ranking truly revolve around just how much this defense can take.

    The Irish have forced 13 turnovers, tied for second in the country and just one shy of their 2011 total. Some of it might be good fortune. Some of it is attention to detail and better playmaking. All of it is right place, right time.

    "Now we're a stingy defense and we're a defense that can take the football away," Irish coach Brian Kelly said. "That's the next level of championship defense."

    Undoubtedly, there is cooperation required. One of linebacker Manti Te'o's interceptions last weekend might as well have been guided by military satellites into his chest. But, then, if Te'o is a step or two astray in that zone defense, the ball keeps sailing to who knows who.

    It's a harmony of talent and duty, which often means a team creates its own luck.

    "As the players become bigger, faster, stronger over time, as they mature, or through the recruiting and collection of talent, there also (is) a little bit better clock in the head of the opponent quarterback," defensive coordinator Bob Diaco said.

    "Partnered with the emphasis (on turnovers) and partnered with the focus of the players and the diligence in film study and in practice, and also just the sheer physics of a pretty stout front, (that) creates some ball disruptions."

    No, the Irish aren't backing into this trend. Notre Dame is tied for eighth nationally with 14 sacks to go with 16 quarterback hurries. Stephon Tuitt, the primordial sophomore defensive end, is tied for second nationally with six sacks. It's a cold front freezing offenses.

    If teams max protect, quarterbacks have few options. If they don't max protect, quarterbacks must get rid of the ball speedily. It's a pass rush, indeed, and the Irish's eight interceptions already match their 2011 total.

    "Whenever you get some pressure on any kind of quarterback and rush his throw and rush his progression, as a defense we have to try to do your job and read your keys and make plays," Te'o said.

    Te'o returned Wednesday to Hawaii, two weeks after the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend. His teammates practiced without him. They informally dedicated the workout to their venerable captain, but as Tuitt insisted, it's a defense that just doesn't stop.

    "To be honest, I want to break the history books," Tuitt said. "I want our name to go down for doing things that past teams haven't done.

    "I really just want to be a great defense. A great defense. Like completely lock-down and shut-down with a head-banging mentality."

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports...,7200872.story

    ............................||| Notre Dame Notes Spreadsheet |||..........................

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