"They're back-to-back national champs," Irish coach Brian Kelly said. "So that's what it looks like. Measure yourself against that, and it was pretty clear across the board what we have to do."
"We knew one team would break," Alabama defensive end Damion Square said, "and it wasn't going to be us."
"They did not dominate us," Nix said. "We just didn't play our ballgame, man. We didn't make tackles. Everything we did or had lined up should have worked."
In whatever context or interpretation, Alabama was destroying everything Notre Dame built over a brilliant season, stomping validation into a million little pieces.
"It felt like we were sinking in quicksand," guard Chris Watt said. "We couldn't get out of it."