I am the Program Director at 1410 WING ESPN Radio in Dayton, Ohio...also host of Dayton Sports Scene weekdays at 5p! Find me on Twitter @ESPNMark!
Rosarys and Houndstooth hats
by Mark Neal,posted Jan 7 2013 3:00PM
Well, it is finally here...the BCS National Championship Game. It matches up arguably, college football's biggest of blue bloods, the top ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and the #2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. These are the scripts the NCAA and the BCS couldn't even write in the preseason. Will Notre Dame reassert themselves as a true player in college football, and bring home their first title since 1988? Or will Alabama again remind everyone in the country that the road to a National Championship still rolls through Tuscaloosa?
Here are my keys to the game for each team going into tonight's matchup, which can be heard right here on 1410 ESPN Radio, with pregame starting at 7:30p
For Notre Dame:
1. Offense is the concern for the Irish...can they score enough points. ND has to establish a running game. Riddick and Wood need to move the chains, and carry the mail for the Domers tonight. The strength of this Alabama team is stopping the run, but ND needs to come at them regardless. The run will hopefully open up plays downfield for Everett Golson and the Irish receivers.
2. Sell out against the run early against Alabama. The Tide will look to get the ball to Lacy and Yeldon early, and often...frankly all game, if they can. Notre Dame must be stout against the run and force AJ McCarron to beat them through the air. Texas A&M jumped out early, and forced Bama out of their game plan. The Tide will kill you on the ground behind that incredible Offensive line. ND must slow down the run.
3. Believe you can do it. You are Notre Dame for crying out loud, the school that invented the big game, play like it. The photo session are over. The trips to the beach are behind you. Go out their and look like you belong. Notre Dame has been kicked around for years, on and off the field, make it end tonight in Miami. Alabama has been there, play like you have too.
1. Run, run, run. The Tide has the best Offensive line, maybe of my lifetime...use it! They also have a pair of back that compliment each other well, and work well together. Notre Dame will have enough trouble scoring tonight, keeping the offense off the field makes it even more difficult. The Irish have a tough front 7, but they haven't anything close to the physicality of the Tide.
2. Snuff out the Irish flame. Notre Dame is the underdog for a reason, they aren't as good as Alabama. They need early success to build into positive momentum throughout the game...the same thing Texas A&M did to the Tide. If ND struggles early, and the offense starts to crumble, it could be over. I def don't like AJ McCarron, but I trust Everett Golson even less. Crush their spirit, crush their chances.
3. Know you aren't last year's team. This is a good Alabama team, but it isn't a great Bama team. Don't come out like anyone will lay down for you. The Tide must win this game, like they won 12 previous games, because they are better on that day. Some teams walk out on the field and win, this one won't...remember that Tide.