Tuitt was a major presence throughout the regular season and he recorded a team-best 12 sacks. He racked up a total of 42 tackles, forced three fumbles and accounted for nine quarterback hurries. He also showed an ability to make game-changing plays when he returned a fumble 77 yards for a score against Navy. That play in the season-opener set the tone for Tuitt's season, and for that of the Notre Dame defense's.
The Irish head into the national championship game ranked among the top 10 nationally in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense. And Tuitt is a major reason why Notre Dame ranks 15th in sacks recorded per game.
Tuitt will be back with Notre Dame for at least one more season, and it appears he is setting himself up to be a high selection come the 2014 NFL Draft. He could end up working his way into the top 10. A good effort against the Crimson Tide offensive line, which has been solid this season, would go a long way toward boosting his stock heading into the 2013 season.
Notre Dame may require a great effort from Tuitt and the rest of the defense, because getting points against Alabama's defense won't be easy. under 10 points. The Crimson Tide held 10 opponents to 17 points or fewer, and they shut out teams on four occasions. The Irish held 11 opponents to 17 points or fewer this year, and five were held under 10 points.