A lot has been said about Notre Dame playing the defending national champions, but what does the Crimson Tide see in their number-one ranked foe?
The BCS title game may come down to the trenches, and whether the Alabama offense can do anything against the Notre Dame defense.
Tide center Barrett Jones, “It seems to me their strategy is more along the lines of ‘here’s what we do and we’re really good at it.” Jones says the Irish knows everything that’s going to happen in the defense that they play.
Notre Dame’s defense commands respect and Alabama knows it.
Alabama’s quarterback A.J McCarron recognizes the Irish defense is a force to be reckoned with, saying in a press conference, “They’re a great defense. They make a lot of big plays. They’re big upfront, they do a really good job trying to disguise certain things, but I think coach has taught us pretty well it’s never about the other team.”
It may not be about the Irish for Alabama to succeed, but if Notre Dame’s Everett Golson plays to the fullest of his ability, Albama Coach Nick Saban knows it could mean trouble for the Crimson Tide.
“He’s very athletic, he’s a much better passer than people give him credit for,” said Saban about the Irish QB, “he can extend plays and he keeps his eyes down the field well. He’s made a lot of explosive plays this year by extending plays and throwing even though he’s athletic enough to run it. But he does a really good job of executing their offense, so we respect him as much as anybody we played this year.”
The players and the coaching of both 2012 teams matters most in the upcoming championship game, but what doesn’t factor into how the teams play this year is their history with one another.
It’s interesting to note that Notre Dame only lost to Alabama once before back in 1986 during Lou Holtz’s first year as head coach. Holtz turned things around and coached the Irish to a victory over the Tide the next year, in 1987.
Going into Monday’s game the Irish are seen as the underdogs because Alabama is seeking its third national championship title in four seasons.