It’s hard to improve statistically after finishing No. 1 in scoring defense, but that’s the challenge defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and the Notre Dame defense is facing in preparation for 2013, following the team’s 42-14 loss to Alabama in the BCS Championship Game.
As good as the departing Manti Te’o and the 2012 defense were, next season’s group could be even better. They may allow more points, but they’ll also fare better on the big stage after a humbling performance against the mighty Crimson Tide.
Let’s look at five reasons why losing the Heisman Trophy runner-up won’t cause the Irish defense to regress in 2013.