Notre Dame football: Week 5 defensive grades vs. Cincinnati
Now onto the linebacker corps of the Irish. They helped out with stopping the run but the issue was their ability to cover the mid-level routes that killed the Irish all day. They could not get any depth on their zone coverage leaving the team vulnerable in the middle of the field.
We saw Ridder take advantage of the middle of the field a lot this game. They just seemed as though they were stuck in sand anytime Ridder dropped back. However, that is usually the case when facing a dual-threat quarterback.
Notre Dame football has struggled quite tremendously, going back to Week 1 against Florida State against the threat of a running quarterback. It seemed as though the Irish tried to have a spy, however, Ridder was able to take advantage of it with his arm.
I will give the linebackers the credit for keeping him at bay while on his feet except for the big touchdown run that finally put the game to rest late. Overall, their ability to help the line stop the run as well as keeping Ridder at bay from running all over the place gave some promise to this corps.
Next week, the Irish should be better in coverage vs Virginia Tech to relieve some of the stress off of Kyle Hamilton and the defensive backs.