Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson is the key to the Irish's hopes of defeating Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game, plain and simple.
The redshirt freshman quarterback, a first-year starter, has developed into the Irish's main signal-caller through 12 games, though it wasn't always a smooth ride.
Golson was benched for the duration of the second half of his team's 13-6 victory over Michigan on Sept. 22, and he was benched in favor of Tommy Rees for a portion of the second half of an eventual 29-26, triple-overtime victory over Pittsburgh on Nov. 3.
Luckily for the Irish, Golson was playing his best football during the Irish's final three contests, and he is hoped by Irish fans to peak during the matchup with Alabama.
Against that stingy Tide defense, Golson must play mistake-free football along with displaying his improved decision-making skills.
And while he's not Johnny "Football" Manziel—the Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner who led the Aggies to the only Alabama loss of the season—Golson's dual-threat capabilities may prove lethal against Saban and Co. if he manages the game well.