Overall the Notre Dame linebacker play was a bit spotty and there were some misses in the game, but there was also some really outstanding play from the position group. As a unit the linebackers certainly took a positive step forward against Toledo compared to where it was against Florida State.
The Irish linebackers combined for 20 tackles, five run stuffs, two tackles for loss and a sack.
Overall Grade: B-
Let's look at the individual player grades and analysis.
Stats: 68 snaps, 11 tackles, 3 run stuffs, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack
Bertrand was tremendous in the win over Toledo. The junior linebacker was both productive and impactful in the victory, making highlight real caliber plays but also making plays that certainly had an impact on the outcome of the game.
Outside of one long run in the fourth quarter the Irish run defense was significantly improved against Toledo, a team that averaged over 200 rushing yards per game in three of its last four seasons. Bertrand's performance was a driving force behind that success.
Bertrand was around the ball throughout the game, making a number of plays at or behind the line of scrimmage. I had Bertrand with three runs stuffs (tackles for one yard or at the line) and two tackles for loss to go with an impressive sack in which he blew up the running back before getting to the quarterback. His backside pursuit on a run stuff in the third quarter was arguably the most impressive individual play of the game, especially when you consider he was coming from the backside of the line.
Bertrand got sucked inside on the last touchdown run of the game, which dragged his grade down to an A-. Outside of that he was very, very good in this game.
Stats: 36 snaps, 1 tackle, 2 run stuffs
Like Kurt Hinish, White graded out better than I thought he would once I dove into the film. He was especially effective in the opening half. White was aggressive attacking downhill in the run game, beat blockers to the spot and was solid in coverage.
In the second half we saw White playing not as aggressive as he did in the opening half and his snaps were a bit more limited. He did a poor job attacking and beating a second level block on the 67-yard run that got Toledo back into the game.
White did a solid job getting into coverage in the game.
Stats: 33 snaps, 4 tackles, 1 batted pass
Bauer played almost as many snaps as White, which included his role in the nickel defense and also his high volume of snaps at Mike linebacker in the second half. Bauer gets a bit of a bump for his production and a key broken up pass on a play where he got a strong push on a blitz.
Bauer wasn't around the ball as much as I'd like and he needs to be a bit more decisive, but he was solid in the game and was a bit better with his pass drops than he was in the opener.
Stats: 20 snaps, 2 tackles
Pryor was solid in the game, playing decent football in space. He had a nice perimeter stop on a quick swing pass and he took on blocks relatively well. Pryor also did a good job forcing runs back inside on the few instances he was asked to attack off the edge. His coverage was shaky but he was effective in the run game and against quick perimeter throws.
Stats: 29 snaps, 2 tackles
The manner in which Kiser was used in this game kept him away from the ball for much of the game. Kiser had a blown assignment on an edge pressure where he likely should have peeled and run with the back, but fortunately for the Irish the throw was off and the potential big play didn't pan out. Kiser was also beat across the field on a crossing route in which he was late to see the crosser coming to his side.
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