ND played against 3 teams that ranked in the top 50 rushing offenses in the country, giving up an average of 152 yards on the ground and 3.8 yards per carry against them. The other 9 teams they faced had an average rank of 80 in rushing offense, with four ranked 80 or lower (2 ranked 113 or worse). It's not like they've shut down the three decent rushing teams they've faced. They've built their rushing D stats against poor running teams. Outside of Navy - who's completely one-dimensional - they haven't faced a running team like Bama - who is NOT one-dimensional. They're going to have their hands full stopping the running game. And if they load the box, as GA found out, we're more than capable of beating them over the top.Their rush defense is in the top 5 ... UGA's was #65 or thereabouts
Their front seven plays the rush and they don't need the secondary on rushes.
The Tide is number one in the nation in pass efficiency and average 215 yards per game in the air as well as 14 yards per completion. Bama's more than capable in the passing game. If Bama gets at least the 3.8 ypc that the top 3 running teams ND has faced averaged, they won't be forced to win the game through the air. The passing game will be used to complement, which is the Tide's strategy.This will force us to win through the air -- something we don't do well.