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Alabama: Nick Saban's team knows a thing or two about defense. The Crimson Tide finished the season No. 2 in scoring defense (10.7 points per game), No. 1 in rush defense (79.8 yards per game) and No. 6 in pass defense (166.2 yards per game).
Notre Dame: Brian Kelly's squad is gunning for the school's first national championship since 1988. A stellar Fighting Irish defense anchored by Manti Te'o relinquished just 10.3 points per game, the fewest in the nation. In four victories over ranked opponents, Notre Dame surrendered 35 total points.
Prediction: In 1,001 simulations, Alabama won 52.9 percent of the time by an average score of 24-23.
Sample Box Score: A defensive slugging match was busted open by two third-quarter runs from Alabama's T.J. Yeldon. The first, a 57-yarder, brought the Crimson Tide to within a point of Notre Dame. The second, from 40 yards out, secured another national championship for Alabama and the SEC. View Boxscore.
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