The Program: Previewing Notre Dame's Zone Run vs. Alabama in BCS Title Game

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterDecember 12, 2012

Last week we hit on the bread-and-butter run play of the Alabama offense, the Power-O, and how Notre Dame would have to fight to stop it. This week, we flip that coin over and look at the bread-and-butter run look of the Fighting Irish, the zone run.

As we get closer to the game we'll talk about the zone read and what that does to Alabama's defense, but for now we're talking about the straight zone give to Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick.

Entering this game, plenty of eyes will be on Barrett Jones versus Louis Nix III; people pumped for that should be equally excited for Braxston Cave squaring up against Jesse Williams. For all you SEC folks, Cave is no slouch, as he was a Rimington finalist and is one of the nation's top centers.

Williams, we all know, is the point man for this Alabama squad, and he has been phenomenal for much of the 2012 season. The big Australian is not easy to push off his mark, and that is where this battle will get interesting. Cave, and Notre Dame's zone run, will not be tasked with moving Williams backward through drive blocking. Rather, they will be looking to push the big nose tackle sideways.

P.J. Lonergan of LSU and, to a certain extent, David Andrews of UGA were both able to move the bigger Williams off the point through zone blocking. Will Cave be as successful as those two were when the national championship rolls around?

Enjoy this edition of The Program as we highlight another key facet to this heavyweight showdown in Miami.