Notre Dame Heisman Watch: Week 7

October, 9, 2012
10/09/12
6:37
PM CT
Another game. Another opponent kept out of the end zone. Thus, the same two defensive players reside in this space.

Manti Te'o, LB: Ten more tackles and a pass break-up marked just another day at the office for Te'o, who now has 48 tackles through five games, including two for loss. His two fumble recoveries lead the team, and his three picks and three break-ups are both tied for the team lead. Unlike most defensive standouts, Te'o has not lacked attention, either, landing on the Sports Illustrated cover one week and being profiled by "College GameDay" the next. His perseverance through tragedy has inspired everyone around him, and he'll have another big platform this weekend when "GameDay" comes to town as he tries to beat Stanford for the first time in his career.

Stephon Tuitt, DE: Tuitt had a modest performance Saturday by his standards — two tackles, one breakup, one hurry — but remains an integral part of the nation's No. 2 scoring defense, recording six sacks and five hurries on the season, in addition to a forced fumble and a 77-yard touchdown run off a fumble recovery in Week 1. He may face his toughest test yet this Saturday against a big Cardinal offensive line.

Matt Fortuna | email

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