Upon Further Review
4:22 PM EDT, September 19, 2011
The old sports cliché goes, “Defense wins championships.” With two losses, Notre Dame won’t be in that discussion this season, but they do have an elite defense.
Saturday gives us definitive proof.
In a series defined by close contests, the highest ranked Michigan State team that Notre Dame has faced in 22 years was completely SHUT DOWN. Held to just 13 points by the most aggressive defense the Irish have trotted out there in a long time.
No longer is it a group that hangs on for dear life. They attack.
Robert Blanton deserves All-American consideration at the corner. Something Notre Dame hasn’t had at that position in NINE years.
Can you believe Aaron Lynch is a freshman? The 18 year old had more QB hurries in one game Saturday…than ANYONE on the team had all of last season!!!
Lynch may not get enough snaps to garner All-American honors, but Notre Dame hasn’t had an All-American at defensive end since 1988. Before his career is over, Lynch WILL be the one who changes that.
And we haven’t even talked about Manti Te’o. He had ten tackles against the Spartans…and it was a quiet day for him.
That’s how good this defense has gotten. So good that Te’o can have ten tackles…and NOT be the star.
Notre Dame’s defense is no longer a liability. They’re the strength of this team.
What about the 4th quarter at Michigan, you say? I say…Chalk it up to an aberration.
Much like the Navy game was atypical for the Irish defense last season (and they proved it by the way they finished), so was the 4th quarter at Michigan this year.
For 11 of the 12 quarters they’ve played this year, the defense has given up 36 points. That’s less than a touchdown a half.
That kind of defense will win you a LOT of football games.
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