Oct 13, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish safety Matthias Farley (41) returns an interception against the Stanford Cardinal at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Key Performances: Notre Dame Safety Matthias Farley

When Jamoris Slaughter went down against Michigan State, Matthias Farley stepped up at Strong Safety. Three years removed from his first football game of his life, Farley held the Irish Secondary together. One year removed from a position change from Wide Receiver, he jumped all Safeties on Notre Dame’s roster.

To have a successful season, players with low expectations must step up. Notre Dame’s rotation for the 2013 season was expected to feature Jamoris Slaughter and Austin Collinsworth. Due to injury, Farley needed to step up and play championship caliber Defense. He came out of no where in fall camp to grab the position. But, he did not just fill a spot. He flourished.

Matthias Farley had 43 tackles this season including 2 tackles for loss. Against Stanford, Farley intercepted a pass and returned it for 49 yards. This interception set up a Notre Dame field goal. This field goal helped Notre Dame defeat the Cardinal and stay undefeated.

Following the game against Oklahoma, Farley had several screws inserted into his hand. He did not miss any games due to this injury. He gritted out the next four games with a soft cast on his hand. Despite a slight adjustment to playing with that on his hand, Farley showed tremendous courage in not leaving the field for the Fighting Irish.

Farley will need one more memorable performance against Alabama to cap off the season that no one expected, both for he and the Fighting Irish. He embodies the spirit of this year’s Notre Dame team. His path to the starting lineup was linked to the team’s rise on the field. Farley is Notre Dame and Notre Dame is Farley.

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