There is no question that Alabama has one of the best defenses in the country this season.
That doesn't mean the Crimson Tide have a perfect defense, though.
As No. 1 Notre Dame gets set to face the defending champions in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, the Fighting Irish must learn from Alabama's (albeit limited) struggles this season.
The Alabama secondary—which lost Dre Kirkpatrick and Mark Barron to the NFL in the offseason—has had moments it would rather forget this season. That includes the 29-24 loss to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M on Nov. 10, as well as the narrow 32-28 win over Aaron Murray and Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
Even Zach Mettenberger of LSU had a relatively strong performance against the Crimson Tide on Nov. 3, throwing for 298 yards and a touchdown.
In these games, two things were evident. One, the secondary can be beat. Second, a dual-threat quarterback can do damage on Alabama.
Everett Golson has had an up-and-down season for Notre Dame, but he does possess the dual-threat ability to create problems for the Crimson Tide. He's not only passed for over 2,100 yards and 11 touchdowns, he's also rushed for over 300 yards and five touchdowns.
Alabama has a very strong run defense, but some of the problems in the secondary and defending dual-threats give Notre Dame hope in the national title game on Jan. 7. If the impressive defense can limit the Crimson Tide's offense, there's hope that the Fighting Irish can scratch and claw their way to enough points to emerge victorious.
The biggest thing for Golson will be staying composed on the national stage, up against one of the greatest head coaches in college football history, Nick Saban.
But if the sophomore can keep his head about him, Notre Dame certainly has a shot to edge Alabama in a low-scoring contest.