Notre Dame Football: 5 Statistical Predictions For 2014

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Sep 21, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish cornerback KeiVarae Russell (6) and linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) tackle Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Aaron Burbridge (16) in the fourth quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylon Smith Will Collect 100 Tackles This Season

In six of the past seven seasons, a Notre Dame defender has collected 100 tackles. Last year, Notre Dame actually failed to have a 100 tackle player on their roster. Dan Fox fell short by five tackles. But, the Fighting Irish consistency featured a 100-tackle player on their roster including three seasons of Manti Te’o bring down the ball carrier 100 times or more.

It is difficult to compare Smith to Te’o. They are completely different types of athletes. Smith is much more explosive but Te’o is more instinctive. Jaylon Smith corralled 67 tackles in his Freshman campaign. Te’o tallied 63 tackles during his Freshman year.

With Notre Dame transitioning to a more aggressive 4-3, Smith will move play more Inside Linebacker this season. This will prevent teams from running to the opposite side and maximize the amount of plays that he can make. Smith Season Projections: 101 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions