Notre Dame has two of the best defensive players in the country. If more Heisman voters acknowledged that side of the ball, the Irish might have a chance at sending someone to New York. In any event, here's a look at their strong performances through three weeks:
Manti Te'o, LB: The senior captain has improved his tackle total each game — from eight to 10 to 12 this past Saturday, when he helped bottle up Le'Veon Bell. Te'o is arguably among the nation's best linebackers and a future pro. His 30 tackles are far and away the most on the team, and he has added two fumble recoveries, a hurry, an interception and a tackle for loss as well.
Stephon Tuitt, DE: A sack on MSU's final drive gave the sophomore five through three games, tied for the second-most nationally. He has added three hurries, forced a fumble and, of course, returned another fumble 77 yards for a touchdown, in the opener against Navy. Both Tuitt and Te'o have been instrumental on a defense that has allowed just 10 points per game through three weeks.