Keys to a Notre Dame Victory Over Alabama

1) Everett Golson

The play of sophomore Everett Golson may be the most crucial determining factor in the 2012 BCS national championship game. In his first season on the collegiate gridiron,

[caption id="attachment_374" align="alignright" width="204" caption="Golson has improved greatly since the 50-10 victory over Navy in the season opener in Ireland"]EG[/caption]

Golson, from South Carolina, has shown shades of brilliance. Against the stout'Bama defense, Everett will have to create offense for his team. The game may come down to whether the first-year starter can connect with receivers TJ Jones, Tyler Eifert, and DaVaris Daniels consistently for chunk yardage, as well as his ability to prolong plays and gain yards with his feet. Golson has proved to be difficult for opposing coaches to plan for thanks to his versatile skill set. If the 'Bama secondary is exposed as the weak link it is and Bama is forced to drop linebackers into coverage, the Notre Dame run game can be established and the Irish have a great chance to win their first National Championship since 1988.

2) Notre Dame's Offensive Line

An offense can only do so much without a line. Notre Dame's line has performed exceedingly well this year, allowing less sacks than Alabama's, which is touted as one of the best ever by the SEC-loving media. If the Irish offensive line can allow their young quarterback time to go through his progressions and make good reads, the whole offense will open up. It is well known that the Irish offense relies on a run game that has been consistent all year, led by Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. For both to be effective, they

will need to run hard behind an offensive line that blocks well and can get to the second and third levels. Notre Dame will have to be able to sustain long, clock-consuming drives, which means running the ball and converting on third down. This will be a tall task for the Irish line, as Alabama has one of the most daunting defensive front sevens.

3) The Notre Dame Defense

The Irish have the number one scoring defense this season, making them the best defense in the country. The burden of keeping the championship game close may fall on the defense if the Irish can not get their offense going. The front 7 will have to do what they have done all year- stuff the run. That will certainly not be easy however, as Alabama touts a mammoth sized offensive line. If the front 7 can slow down the power rushing attack of T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy, Notre Dame stands a great chance of winning the game. A.J. McCarron is no slouch at the Quarterback position, so the secondary will need to have its best showing of the year. Typically, Alabama has won games by wearing teams down, but the Irish have serviceable depth in the front seven and thanks to Coaches Brian Kelly and Paul Longo, are possibly the best conditioned team in the country.


[caption id="attachment_376" align="aligncenter" width="748" caption="Notre Dame will take on Bama January 7th in the BCS National Championship (Photo courtesy of The Turning Point)"]Turning Point[/caption]

In their games against quality competition, Alabama has been underwhelming. The Crimson Tide narrowly won a game (that was poorly coached by Les Miles) against LSU, and beat Georgia in the SEC Championship game thanks to questionable clock management by the Bulldogs, and of course, they dropped a game to Johnny Football's Aggies. Alabama is not the big scary monster the media would like you to believe. This game will be close either way, and everything has fallen in favor for Brian Kelly's Notre Dame Fighting Irish during this year's 12-0 season. I see no reason to believe that the team will not continue that trend of victory. Notre Dame will leave it all on the field in their final rally for their inspirational leader Manti Te'o. This team has "bought in" to the message of the coaches and because of that, there will be a new banner in the House Rockne built next season. Irish Win

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