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They Will Win If…

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On deck for January 7, the sports world will witness a clash of the titans of epic proportions as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Alabama Crimson Tide will travel to Miami, Florida for the BCS National Championship. With these two evenly-matched teams, and a history of national title games being decided by close margins, the game will come down to a few key factors that will determine the outcome. Whether you root for Bama or the Fighting Irish, check out what each team needs to do in order to take home the trophy.

For Notre Dame, their obvious strength is in their defense, so their captain on defense, Manti Te’o, will have to show up in a big way and disrupt the Alabama offense. Among the leaders in interceptions this season, Te’o will have to cause some turnovers anyway he can, as Alabama is known for moving the ball efficiently and systematically on offense. Although the Fighting Irish are fueled by the play of their defense, the offense will have to make some plays, seeing as scoring points is what wins games. The only game the Crimson Tide lost this season was to a team featuring a quarterback with the ability to throw and run at an exceptional level, so that type of production will be required of Notre Dame’s quarterback, Everett Golson. If they can pull together and do these things effectively, they’ll be sure to pull off the upset on the defending national champions.

Bama’s back again, playing for all the marbles that they initially had going into the season. Despite the loss that they took at the hands of Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, there’s no doubt about the Crimson Tide’s ability to rebound, adjust and return to playing at a high level. Much like Notre Dame, Bama will strike with their stalwartish defense. With the strong running game that the Irish possess, the key to stopping them is to stop the running game, which, in turn will hinder the passing game. On the offensive side of the ball, Bama’s strength lies with their duo of runningbacks in Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon. With that being said, should the running game prove effective, it should open up the passing game quite nicely for their quarterback AJ McCarron, who’s more than capable of managing the offense.

With these variables in place, this will make for an exciting game against two teams that don’t budge on defense. Despite their defensive prowess, that isn’t to say there won’t be big plays to keep things interesting. If you have non-football plans on January 7, cancel them, because this matchup is going to be the one to drop everything for to watch.