The BCS National Championship Game Preview - Notre Dame versus Alabama
Prediction: Notre Dame 20 Alabama 17
Notre Dame Defense:
The vaunted Fighting Irish scoring defense is ranked first in the nation, just above number two Alabama, in giving up 10.3 points per game. A key to this dominance is the ability of the Fighting Irish to keep opponents’ big plays at bay. The unit has allowed only 29 plays of 20 yards or more along with 9 plays of 30 yards or more from scrimmage.
The Notre Dame Defensive line is arguably the best in the nation. It is anchored by Senior Tackle Kapron Lewis Moore (6.0 sacks, 8.5 TFL (Tackles for a Loss), 3 QB hurries, and a forced fumble), Nose Tackle Louis Nix whose tremendous impact is felt beyond his stats (2.o sacks, 5.5 TFL, 3y QBs hurries, and a forced fumble) and the monster DE Stephon Tuitt, considered the best Sophomore at his position in the country (12.0 sacks, 13 TFL, 9 QB hurries, and 3 forced fumbles).
The feared Blue and Gold linebacking corps is led by the highly decorated, All-American, Sports Illustrated icon LB Manti T’eo who is undeniably the best player in the country at his position and the best defensive player period. His stats speak for themselves: 103 tackles, 7 interceptions (tied for 2nd in the nation), 5.5 TFL, and 1.5 sacks. The Notre Dame captain is superhuman in his ability to play every down and to be as effective in stuffing the run as in dropping back in pass protection. Alabama will need to run through or around this havoc-creating, Hawaiian Heavyweight to the National Championship. T’eo’s squad in the backfield is bolstered by the solid play of underrated LB Dan Fox (57 tackles), OLB Prince Shembo (7.5 sacks, 48 tackles, and 12 QB hurries), and the youngest featured LB for the Fighting Irish Ishaq Williams (3.5 sacks, 21 tackles.)
The Crimson Tide ranks 14th in the nation in scoring averaging 38.5 points per game. QB A. J. McCarron’s play (2,669 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and 67% completion percentage) was instrumental to Alabama’s 12-1 season and yet another shot at a national championship.
Like their BCS Bowl opponents from South Bend, Alabama has a fearsome rushing attack of it’s own. RBs Eddie Lacy (1182 yds, 16 TDs) and T.J. Yeldon (1,000 yds, 11 TDs) have averaged 6.5 yards per carry. Lacy and Yeldon are only as proficient its offensive line. And the Crimson Tide’s is considered to be the best in nation behind the smart, athletic, and versatile play of Center Barret Jones who will have his hands full versus Notre Dame’s sublime noseguard Louis Nix in a key match-up.
The Crimson Tide receiving corps may be hindered by the possible absence of WR Kenny Bell (broken leg) but WR Amari Cooper (894 yds, 9 TDs) will test the Irish defensive backs and look to break a big play.
Ranked 1st in the nation in total defense (246 yards per game) and 2nd in scoring defense allowing only10.7 points per contest, The Crimson Tide will mercilessly raise havoc as they have done all year testing the youth and patience of Fighting Irish QB Golson in the pocket.
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