Notre Dame Football: Defensive Grades vs. USC

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Oct 17, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) reacts after making a tackle against the Southern California Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame defeats Southern California 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Linebackers: B

Another game, another great performance by junior captain Jaylon Smith, who led the team in tackles with 14, including 0.5 TFL and 1 QB hurry. He was all over the place, stonewalling USC ball carriers and performing well in coverage. Junior James Onwualu gave another strong performance as well, amassing 7 tackles and making a nice pass break-up on a 4th down attempt by USC at the end of the first quarter, giving the ball back to the Irish.

Senior captain Joe Schmidt made 4 tackles and had 1 QB hurry, but again struggled a bit in matching the Trojans’ speed and in wrapping up on tackles with the cast he has on his hand. Freshman Te’von Coney and sophomore Nyles Morgan saw a bit of time as well, combining for 3 tackles.

Next: Grades: Defensive Backs