October 6, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. EST
Last Meeting: 2010 Sun Bowl: Notre Dame-33 Miami-17
Shayon Green, DT/DE, Junior- Green leads the team in total tackles with 35, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery. He is 6’3’’ 260 pounds, which is slightly undersized for a defensive lineman. Using his instincts and hands to keep blockers off of him has made him successful this far. Not a great pass rusher, since Miami often only rushes 3-4 defenders each play. Subpar when shedding blocks, because he looks like he lacks the strength to get off the block. Notre Dame’s offensive line significantly outweighs Green and the rest of the Miami defensive line. He makes the offensive lineman over pursue whether run or pass block. Speed and quickness are this guy’s strengths. On dive plays Green has a tendency to crash down to the inside, so it should be easy for our backs to bounce the ball outside and gain more yards.
Eddie Johnson, OLB, Freshman- Johnson is currently second on the team in tackles with 31. 3.5 of those tackles were for loss and he also has accounted for 1 sack this season. Standing at 6’1’’ 238 pounds is also a little undersized. Miami runs a 4-3 base defense, but likes to bring their linebacker Johnson up on the line. This is most often called 4-3 over or 4-3 under depending on what the weak and strong side is. This isn’t hard to beat if the right plays are called and the right reads are made. Miami overloads the strong side of the offense, which will work against Notre Dame if the Irish keep being so predictable. Johnson tends to arm tackle a lot and lacks good technique, which is understandable for a freshman. He has talent obviously starting as a strong side outside linebacker as a freshman, but Notre Dame should be able to attack his lack of experience.
Kacy Rodgers II, DB, Junior- Rodgers II is sitting at third on his team in tackles with 23, with 20 of those tackles being solo. He has not yet recorded an interception or any pass breakups. As one of the safety’s he should never let anyone behind him at any time, unless blitzing or if he is in man coverage. If he is in zone or any other defense nothing should get behind him, but it does. He doesn’t have good form tackling, since he dives at the ball carriers feet or tackles too high. Rodgers II has good speed and instincts, but those can get the best of him, resulting in jumping a route too soon or committing to the run.
Overall, this is an average defense that is playing with a lot of young guys and they continue to improve each week. Miami likes to bring pressure from the linebacker on the weak side especially when they are in the 4-3 under defense, which can cause a big hit on the quarterback. They did this multiple times against NC State and recorded 2 fumbles, because of the backside blitzes. Notre Dame should be able to get their offense going against Miami, but they needed to improve a lot over the bye week.