Safety Zeke Motta has become the voice in the Notre Dame secondary now that fifth-year senior Jamoris Slaughter has been lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon.
The No. 11 Irish (3-0) are counting on Motta to play a key role Saturday night in slowing Denard Robinson. The quarterback for the 18th-ranked Wolverines who has gashed Notre Dame for 944 yards in total offense the past two years.
Motta is the only member of the Irish secondary with more than three career starts and is the only starter who arrived on campus as a defender. Coach Brian Kelly says he has gone from a player who had a hard time getting lined up last year to being a leader.
Motta is second on the team with 19 tackles.