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Week 1 Stats:
Redfield: 3 tackles
Shumate: 3 tackles, 1 pass breakup
Breaking Down Their Performances
In the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s game, Kelly was mostly pleased with Notre Dame’s performance. The primary problem, according to Kelly, came down to some breakdowns in the secondary.
“Our communication in the back end of our defense was at times a problem which resulted in some big plays,” Kelly said.
Sophomore Max Redfield made his second career start, and junior Elijah Shumate was shoved into a spot-starting role after graduate student Austin Collinsworth suffered an MCL injury Thursday.
“I think Austin had been obviously a great communicator back there,” Kelly said Sunday. “Then with Elijah and Max back there, we needed somebody to pick it up. Neither one of those guys picked up the slack. Need to be better.”
As Kelly and the Irish coaches define it, Notre Dame surrendered five “explosive” plays—four passes. Kelly said three of those were “directly related to poor communication.”
It’s difficult to replace what Collinsworth brings to the secondary. And though Shumate and Redfield blew some coverages Saturday, things figure to improve moving forward. After all, Shumate had less than 48 hours to fully prepare to start alongside Redfield.
Grades: Shumate – C-, Redfield – C-
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
Mike Monaco is a lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.