CFB Playoff Preview: Notre Dame vs Alabama
It's no surprise to anyone that the Fighting Irish are a 20 point underdog against the Crimson Tide in the Rose Bowl. Notre Dame will need an almost perfect effort to upset the countries #1 team. Although, the Irish do have a few positives to look too. Veteran quarterback Ian Book has shown in the past that he rises in big games, and the program is on a great run in the postseason, winning 4 of their last 6 bowl games. Notre Dame will also need a strong performance out of star running back Kyren Williams, who ran for over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Williams has some great lineman in front of him, 3 of which were selected as AP All- Americans last week. By being successful on the ground, the Irish can keep the ball away from the high-powered Alabama offense and keep the score close. The defense will need to play superb as well. The four seniors on the defensive line for Notre Dame will simply need to get a lot of pressure on the young Alabama quarterback to hopefully gain extra possessions for the offense.
Alabama should win on Friday, and they know it. The offense just needs to do more of the same against the Irish. This season, the Crimson Tide offense was only held to under 40 points once, and Heisman candidate, Mac Jones, has proven to have a pro career after his time at Alabama. The Junior quarterback has picked apart SEC defenses this season with his offense averaging nearly 8 yards a play. The wide receiver core he has to throw too may be the best Alabama has ever had. DeVonta Smith is the best wide out in the league and won the AP Player of the Year award this year in his final season before entering the NFL draft. Its not all perfect news for the Tide, as they will be missing starting center and Joe Moore award finalist Landon Dickerson because of injury.
Alabama has shown to not only be the best team in the country, but also the most consistent. The only way Alabama lets the Irish keep it close is by beating themselves, and I just don't see that happening. The Tide haven't turned the ball over all season, and I don't think any defense in the country can stop their offense. The Irish will struggle to stop Najee Harris on the ground, allowing for big plays over the top to the star receivers. Alabama wins and covers. Alabama 48-17