Jan 3, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Theo Riddick (6) during practice for the 2013 BCS National Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Nova Southeastern University. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Key Performances: Notre Dame Running Back Theo Riddick

Theo Riddick has went through a turbulent Notre Dame career. When Riddick arrived at Notre Dame, it was Charlie Weis’ final year in South Bend. Riddick played Running Back that year. When Brian Kelly took over, he was moved to Slot Receiver for two years. He was productive but never lived up to expectations.

This year, Riddick returned to the position he had been playing his entire life, Running Back. Although fans may have thought that he was unneeded in the backfield with Wood and Atkinson, he quickly demonstrated that his heart and determination would make him the best runner on the team. Without Riddick’s performance this season, Notre Dame would not be sitting at 12-0.

Riddick touched the ball on 215 plays this season. He racked up 1244 total yards. This total was actually 88o yards on the ground and 364 yards receiving. He averaged 5.8 yards per play when he had the ball in his hands.

His best performances were against BYU and Southern California. In these games, Notre Dame struggled at times to move the ball. But, Riddick’s tough running made the difference. Against BYU, Riddick carried the ball 15 times for 143 yards. He ran the ball 20 times for 146 yards against SC. It seemed like he was there to pick up the slack when Cierre Wood or George Atkinson failed to show up.

Riddick’s statistics may not be eye-popping but they are why Notre Dame is in the National Title. Whenever Notre Dame needed a big play, he provided it. He led the Irish in All Purpose yards. If Notre Dame wins the National Title, it will probably be because of his tough running. Theo Riddick’s underrated performance this season led to Notre Dame’s 12-0 record and BCS National Title Birth.

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