Notre Dame Football 102: Scoring in the Red Zone Against Alabama

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Notre Dame Football 102: Scoring in the Red Zone Against Alabama
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The red zone offense wins games, or loses them.

ND’s 2012 Fighting Irish offense checked in with a solid 421 yards a game in 2012. Alabama’s Crimson Tide was a slight bit better at 439 yards an outing. In similarly brutal fashion, the Tide stoned their competition, allowing a miserly 10.9 points a contest, while the Irish were even stingier, allowing a nation-best 10.3 per game.

The Fighting Irish went undefeated, playing no FCS teams, while beating conference champions Oklahoma and Stanford, as well as pounding the tans off of USC’s gridiron track team.

Bama won the rugged SEC, rolling such perennial non-conference powers as Florida Atlantic, Western Carolina, and their sister school, Western Kentucky, but dropping a game to two-loss Texas A & M before edging one-loss Georgia in the title game. Yet, Las Vegas says ND is a 9 ½ point dog.

Why no love from Vinnie the Fix and the boys?

Six words: Red Zone, Red Zone, Red Zone.

While the 2012 Tide converted 41 TD's on 57 scoring opportunities inside the twenty, the Irish were anemic in close quarters with a pitiful 27 TD's on 58 attempts.

That means when it got time to man up, on roughly the same red zone opportunities, the Tide ran up an extra 57 points while ND yelled things like "Kicking team!" and "Damn!."

Give them a couple fifths of Bailey’s in their coffee and my mom’s Friday bingo team can convert more than 46% TD’s when they are close enough to actually see the goal line. I'm fairly sure her Sunday night bingo team could too if any of them could actually see, or still knew what a goal line was, but I digress.

We can all see the problem. The Irish need to solve it.

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