Honey Badger can take what the Tide gives him and like it.
Some, not all, our secondary woes can be attributed to the level of QB/WR play they've faced. UGA, TA&M, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Miss St have QB's better than any ND's Played with Landry possibly being the exception and If I'm not mistaken he torched ND for close to 350.
Now, we all know ND's playing some converted WR's on the back-end and McCarron is about as accurate a deep ball passer as I've seen in a long time. All our WR's have the ability to get behind a secondary, especially if Bell is well enough to play so expect some over-the-top passing
Where some Bama fans may be a little over exuberant regarding our running game it comes from a sense that we didn't run enough against LSU or TA&M, especially TA&M. The belief many have is since we were playing from behind in those two games our coaches may have panicked a little and got away from what we do best. It appears they didn't intend for that to happen with UGA.
The way I see it is Notre Dame is going to have to show me. I understand they are very solid up front and they are coming alone as an offense. However, I believe the top end teams on Bama's schedule are a good bit better than not only Notre Dame, but they are better than the top end teams that Notre Dame played. And here's my overall biased opinion of Notre Dame. They're front seven might really be the best front seven that we have seen all year. However, I give LSU the nod in that regard. What I'm trying to say is I don't in my heart of hearts believe that Notre Dame played the same caliber top end teams that we played so based on that I trust our oline against any front seven including Notre Dame's. However, I do wonder if Notre Dame's front seven is better than any of us give them credit for. I know it's possible, but I trust that some of the teams we've played are the top of the top. And I doubt that Notre Dame has seen that I caliber opponent yet. But it does worry me a bit that they are as good as advertised and are waiting to prove it against us. I admit that is possible, but I will trust what I know, and we've faced some very good fronts. Based on that I like our chances, and frankly it will be on Notre Dame to prove me wrong. I apologize for the rant and the out right biasedness, but that is just my opinion. I trust our o line against anyone in the country now....(LSU) worried me. And in my opinion Notre Dame is not the caliber of LSU, same system or not.
Bama's offense comes to play in championship and bowl games, especially the rushing attack.
Since 2007, Alabama has appeared in 3 SEC Championship games (2008, 2009, 2012), 2 non-BCS bowl games (Independence Bowl after the 2007 season, Capital One Bowl after 2010 season), 1 BCS bowl game (Sugar Bowl after 2008 season), and 2 BCS National Championship games (after 2009 and 2011 seasons).
In those games, Bama faced defenses that on average were giving up 107 yards per game, 3.24 yards per carry, and less than a TD per game on the ground. In those games, Bama (on average), rushed for 191 yards per game, 4.55 yards per carry, and scored 2.4 TDs on the ground. Those teams gave up about twice the rushing yards to Bama as to other opponents during the season and about three times the rushing TDs. This is for post season from 2007 to present.
If you look at post season 2009 to present, Bama has been even more dominant against more dominant defenses. In two SECCG appearances (2009 and 2012), the 2010 Capital One Bowl, and two BCSCG appearances (following 2009 and 2011 seasons), Bama has faced defenses giving up 104 yards per game on the ground, only 3.06 yards per carry, and barely over half (0.59) of a rushing TD per game. Bama gained an average of 246 yards per game, 5.23 yards per carry, and 3.4 TDs against these defenses. That's more than twice the average per game and about 1.7 times the average per rush against these defenses. The rushing TDs by Bama were almost 6 times the average allowed by these defenses.
- In 2009, Florida gave up 3 rushing TDs all season before playing Bama in the SECCG and they gave up 3 to Bama in that game.
- Bama rushed for 251 yards against Florida in that same game, which was about three times what they gave up on average.
- Bama pulled basically the same performance against Texas in the 2009 BCSCG as against Florida. Texas had given up five rushing TDs all season and Bama had 4 rushing TDs in that game. Bama also rushed for 205 against UT, which was more than three times their average of 62 ypg.
- In the Capital One Bowl against Michigan State, Bama had 6 rushing TDs and 275 yards on the ground. The Sparty D had only allowed an average of 0.8 TDs per game and 122 ypg during the season. This was against B1G teams, which traditionally are good rushing teams.
- Against LSU, Bama's rushing attack was held in check better than against most opponents, but Bama still managed to rush (150 yards on 35 carries)for almost double what LSU allowed on average (85 yards on 33 carries). Rather than the typical rush-heavy Tide game plan, Bama's strategy planned to use a conservative, efficient passing attack to control the game and it did the job very well.
- Georgia was giving up 163 ypg on an already generous 3.82 yards per carry and 1.1 TDs per game. Bama still took far more than offered (350 yards, 6.86 ypc, and 3 TDs on the ground).
Percentage-wise, since 2009 Bama's rushing attack outperforms their defensive opponent by these amounts:
Rushing yards: 237% (246 yards by Bama, 104 yards allowed by opponent defense per game excepting Bama)
Rushing yards per carry: 171% (5.23 ypc by Bama, 3.06 ypc allowed by opponent defense per game excepting Bama)
Rushing TDs: 576% (3.4 TDs by Bama, 0.59 TDs allowed by opponent defense per game excepting Bama)
Rushing first downs: 200% (12 by Bama, 6 allowed by opponent defense per game excepting Bama)
If Bama performs against Notre Dame like they performed against those defenses, Bama's rushing numbers would be 40 carries for 218 yards (5.41 ypc) and 1 TD. However, I think that the numbers will be better than this, at least in the number of rushing TDs. Notre Dame has given up 2 TDs all season, which is similar to the numbers allowed by other rushing defenses in big games prior to playing Bama (UF had allowed 3 in 2009, UT had allowed 5 in 2009). Other than against LSU (we had a fairly absymal red-zone offense last season) in the BCSCG, Bama has scored at least 3 TDs rushing in the big games since 2009. I think that our two thousand-yard running backs, which are running behind probably the best offensive line ever at Alabama, wants to continue that type of dominance.
We've heard the drumbeat about their great rushing defense from opponents before. The misleading thing for those opponents is that they rarely face teams that can truly pound the ball like Bama can. Once again, as we've said to every opponent we've faced in the post-season, you're about to find out if your rushing defense is a contender, or a pretender. None have really fared well.
Last edited by IH8Orange; December 30th, 2012 at 04:01 AM.
"If it feels good, then you're not doing it right" - Coach Scott Cochran
"Sharing a conference with Nick Saban is like sharing a steak with a lion. Only one of you wins that battle. And it's not you." - Gregg Doyel
This is a great post and represents the essence of what the game will be. There's no question that Alabama is the best team we've faced all year and I'm excited to see how we match up.
To your point about former coordinators and their impact as head coaches....look what Coach 'Boom' has done at Florida with their solid defense....while the Shorthorn's defense has eroded since his departure. There's an obvious cause and effect.
It's an interesting dynamic to watch wrt coaching.
I also agree that statistics only go so far when certain teams meet on the field of battle.
Notre Dame hasn't faced a team like Alabama all season - on so many levels.
I have no doubt that Bama will control this game from start to finish.
No disrespect meant to Notre Dame....but the SEC hasn't won it 6 years in a row for nothing!
IMO, the articles presented a very accurate and fair comparison of the two front sevens. What I would like to see is a comparison of ND's opponents' OL to Bama's OL. And then a similar comparison of Bama's opponents' OL to ND's. The objective being to predict OL vs front seven performance. As many have said, the game's outcome is likely to come down to how well one team's OL dominates (or gets dominated) the opposing team's front seven.
Having said all that, the one comparison I haven't seen anyone do yet is overall team speed. My limited viewing of ND games this year leaves me with the impression ND is a big, powerful, well coached team, that has little overall team speed. Bama is a big, powerful, well coached team, but has good overall team speed, and in some spots, has extremely good speed.
For those that have seen more ND football than me, have you seen that distinction as well?
"Bryant can take his'n and beat your'n, and then he can turn around and take your'n and beat his'n." -- Houston Oiler head coach Bum Phillips, a former player under Coach Bryant
I don't care about stats but if ND is going to have a "worst day" it will be on the 7th. The Irish simply have not played anyone near the caliber of Alabama. No one comes close and this will soon become apparent.
Saying that, good luck and here's to an injury free game.
Ask me about my vow of silence.
"Tradition is the foundation that great programs are built on"