Notre Dame Football Grades: Defense vs. Temple

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 02: Logan Marchi /

Notre Dame started the season off with a bang, defeating Temple. The Irish Defense looked improved over last year’s unit. However, a high school team may fare better than the VanGorder-led Defense. The Offense graded out as a ‘B’ overall for their play on Saturday. How well did Mike Elko’s crew perform?

. Defense. Notre Dame Fighting Irish. DEFENSIVE LINE. B

The Notre Dame Defensive Line performed during the game against the Owls. In particular, Jay Hayes and Daelin Hayes made significant impacts. Jay Hayes tallied 5 total tackles with 1  tackle for loss. He consistently set the edge for the Irish Defense and disturbed the Owls in the running game. He also recorded 1 Quarterback hurry. Daelin Hayes impressed even when he did not record a tackle. He jumped over the Temple Running Back twice. The Sophomore Defensive End tallied 4 tackles with 1 sack.

Tillery, Bonner, Trumbetti, Tagovailoa-Amosa, Okwara, Kareem and Hinish all figured in the rotation. All players recorded at least 1 tackle.

The Defensive Line finished with 2 sacks, 6 tackles for loss and 2 Quarterback hurries. The performance is a good start for the group.

B+. . Defense. Notre Dame Fighting Irish. LINEBACKERS

The group of Nyles Morgan, Drue Tranquill, Greer Martini, Tevon Coney and Asmar Bilal rotated at the Linebacker spots during the game. Morgan tallied 8 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 1 Quarterback hurry. He led the Irish in tackles.

The rotation of Coney and Martini at the BUCK Linebacker spot yielded 6 tackles for each player. Coney added a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss and 1 Quarterback hurry. Martini contributed 1 tackle for loss and 1 forced fumble.

Tranquill turned in a solid afternoon. Perhaps, he did not live up to expectations. Many fans and media probably expect the “Honey Badger” out of Tranquill now that he plays closer to the line. He recorded 4 tackles, 1 tackles for loss and 1 fumble recovery.

C-. . Defense. Notre Dame Fighting Irish. SECONDARY

The Secondary represents the weakest part of this Notre Dame football team. The Irish rotated Nick Watkins, Julian Love and Shaun Crawford for the most part of game. This group played well for the most part. They rarely got burned by Temple receivers but also failed to make many plays on the ball. This represented a massive step forward for the Cornerback position.

The Safeties still struggle in coverage and tackling. Nick Coleman supported the run well during the game. He tallied 5 tackles. Coleman showed a lack of instinct in the passing game. On one play in particular, he failed to cover a ‘corner’ route by the Owls receiver allowing a big gain. Studstill and Elliott also rotated in at Safety. Elliott blew a coverage down by the goal-line. Luckily for Elliott, the Temple receiver dropped a guaranteed touchdown.

B-. . ALL. Notre Dame Fighting Irish. DEFENSE

Notre Dame’s Defense showed a lot of improvement. The front 7 possesses the talent to perform at an extremely high level. Probably not elite but definitely at a legitimate Power 5 level. The Secondary may prevent this unit from being great.