Notre Dame's Theo Riddick: Irish back's stats, highlights and more

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

Riddick is having is best season as a running back for the Irish, and he could be a big part of the game plan against Alabama.

Notre Dame's Theo Riddick has experience playing both running back and wide receiver in college, which makes him a versatile offensive threat for the Irish offense. This year, Riddick was Notre Dame's primary ball carrier and led the team with 880 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

Prior to moving back to the running back spot for the 2012 season, Riddick was a good contributor at wide receiver for Notre Dame. He caught 40 passes for 414 yards and three scores as a sophomore in 2010 and followed that up with 38 receptions for 436 yards and three touchdowns in his junior year.

And while his focus has been on running the football this year, he still made 35 receptions for 364 yards during the regular season.

His biggest performance this year came in the season finale, a 22-13 victory over the USC Trojans. Riddick picked up 146 yards on 20 carries, for an average of more than seven yards per rush. He helped his team rush for 222 yards on the night and finish off an undefeated regular season.

Riddick didn't often get 20 carries or more in a game because Notre Dame also likes to use Cierre Wood quite frequently. Wood is averaging 11 carries per game (Riddick is getting 15) and he has 740 yards on the ground. Wood is a bit more experienced at the running back position, and he had more than 1,100 yards last season.

SB Nation's Dan Kadar considers Riddick the 22nd best running back prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft; he has Wood 15th.

The Irish would like to establish Riddick and the ground game against Alabama, as they've leaned more heavily on the run than the pass this year. But finding success on the ground won't be easy -- the Crimson Tide lead the country in rushing defense with an average of 79.8 yards allowed on the ground per game.

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