Many prognosticators have Alabama beating Notre Dame in the BCS Championship Game. However, we believe that Notre Dame will win and will do so on the strength of quarterback Everett Golson.
How is this possible? After all, Alabama has the second-best defense in the country, giving up a minuscule 10.7 points per game.
And Golson, while talented, hasn't had the best season. He's been in and out of the starting lineup and has thrown for 2,135 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. By comparison, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron has thrown for 2,669 yards, 26 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
So why will Golson be so successful against this Alabama defense? For the answer, we must look to Johnny Football.
Johnny Manziel, the freshman sensation from Texas A&M, the Heisman Trophy winner, dealt Alabama its only loss on November 10. He was remarkable, throwing for 253 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also ran for 92 yards.
Golson hasn't put up a performance like this and probably won't against Alabama. He's nowhere near as talented as Manziel. But they do play a similar style, and it exposed a fatal flaw in Alabama's defense.
Quite simply, Alabama struggles with mobile, athletic, swashbuckling quarterbacks who can take the game into their own hands and run with it. That's what Manziel is, and that's what he did on that November day in Tuscaloosa.
Golson is a mobile, athletic quarterback who has the talent to take over a game. He rushed for 74 yards against the 21st-ranked Pittsburgh defense and 41 yards against the Rose Bowl-winning Stanford defense.
He's shown the ability to extend plays with his legs and make defenders miss. No, he's not Johnny Football. But Golson is not so far off. He has the same skill-set—a skill-set that gave the Crimson Tide fits. There's no reason why it can't again.
Look for Golson to have a big game and lead the Irish to an upset.