Notre Dame Football: Defensive Grades vs. USC

5 of 5

Oct 17, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates after the game against the Southern California Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame defeats Southern California 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Overall: B

The same mistakes and flaws are still evident and need to be addressed. The defense started another game flat, fell for a trick play, surrendered huge chunks of yardage on blown assignments, and went through a substantial phase of poor tackling. However, as has been the case this season, the Notre Dame defense again found a way to focus, string together a bunch of stops, and make enough plays to give the offense a chance to win it.

If this defense can find a way to start fast, stay disciplined, and not get burned early in games, they could really put on some masterful performances and completely shut down some very strong offenses. They absolutely have the talent to do so.

If all of that happens, this Notre Dame team could really have a chance to run the table and make a College Football Playoff push. It should be very interesting to see if the defense can put it all together for entire games as they head down the home stretch of the season. It could end up making the difference between a good season and a great season for the 2015 Fighting Irish.