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BCS Championship 2013: Rushing Attack Will Help Alabama Edge Notre Dame

November 24, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide running back Eddie Lacy (42) carries for a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the first quarter at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 31, 2012

If you were looking for a physical, grind-it-out battle in the BCS National Championship Game this season, you are probably drooling at the thought of No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama clashing on Jan. 7 in Miami.

Both Notre Dame and Alabama roll out run-heavy offensive attacks. Both have elite run defenses. In that sense, the team that will win will be the team that has the most success on the ground, although "success" may be the wrong word.

When you look at it from that perspective, Alabama would seem to be the favorite for the national title this season.

The Crimson Tide, led by junior Eddie Lacy and freshman T.J. Yeldon, have averaged 5.56 yards per carry this season (sixth in the nation, via CFBStats.com) and they've done so in the country's best conference. They've also totaled 35 rushing touchdowns, tied for 14th in the FBS.

Even against Notre Dame's vicious run defense, led by inside linebacker Manti Te'o, I still think the Crimson Tide will find a way to gain some yards on the ground.

On the flip side, Notre Dame's running game isn't bad (4.99 yards per carry, tied for 27th in the nation), but I would take Lacy and Yeldon over Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood any day of the week.

Alabama should have more success against Notre Dame's fourth-ranked run defense than the Fighting Irish should have against the Crimson Tide's first-ranked unit.

Remember, Lacy and Yeldon combined for 159 rushing yards on 7.2 yards per carry in their greatest test against LSU on Nov. 3. In Riddick and Wood's greatest test against Stanford, they combined for 111 yards on 4.6 yards per carry. This isn't a perfect barometer of the difference between the two rushing units, but it does say something about Alabama's ability to rise up against top-notch run defenses.

Add the fact that A.J. McCarron is a better quarterback than Everett Golson and you can expect Alabama to win its second straight national championship on Jan. 7.

 

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