Alabama Football: How the Tide Fared Against the 7 Irish Myths in BCS Title Game
Just over a week ago, I wrote an article on the seven myths that were created by the media en route to the BCS title game between Alabama and Notre Dame.
The piece was written in effort to prevent 'Bama fans from falling for the fallacies that they were being presented with.
As you may have heard, the Tide rolled the Irish with a fury Monday night and won their second consecutive BCS national title.
As a result of the many comments and interest generated from that first article, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit my claims and see whether or not they turned out to be true.
One of the myths I argued against was that of which team played the tougher schedule this season. Monday's game did nothing to change that, so we'll let it lie.
Here are the results of the other six Irish myths.
1. Everett Golson Is a Dual-Threat Quarterback
Golson entered the title game averaging just 27 yards on eight carries per game. I argued that his 305 total rushing yards on the season did not really qualify him as a rushing threat.
Moreover, I questioned his consistency through the air.
Throughout the course of the game, I did learn to appreciate the arm that Golson possesses. He was hassled pretty much all night and still managed to complete 21 of 36 passes for 270 yards, with one touchdown and an interception.
Having acknowledged that, though, he did not impress anyone by running the ball.
Golson was sacked twice for a total loss of 16 yards. He ran the ball three times for a total of just nine yards on the night. While he did score the first Irish touchdown, albeit long after the game was in the bag for the Tide, Golson did not prove himself as a dual-threat.
2. Alabama Won't Be Able to Score on Notre Dame in the Red Zone
Notre Dame entered the game with the most prolific defense in the country when it came to touchdowns allowed from inside the red zone, allowing opposing teams to reach the end zone on just eight of 33 attempts.
Alabama, though, had been pretty impressive offensively under the same parameters.
The Tide took it to the Irish right away, scoring from inside the red zone on its first possession of the night.
It didn't get any better for the Irish, either. When it was all over, Alabama had reached the Irish red zone five times. The Tide ended each of those possessions with touchdowns.
3. Notre Dame Has the Best Defense in the Country
Coming into this game, the Irish led the nation in points allowed per game and in red-zone defense. Alabama led the nation in most other categories.
It was debatable, though, as to which of these fine teams had the best defense.
But by running up a total of 529 yards in an amazingly balanced fashion (265 rushing/264 passing), the Tide solved this debate. Notre Dame tallied 302 total yards of their own, but much of it was long after Alabama had the game was in hand.
Alabama bested the Irish in first downs, time of possession, sacks, turnovers and third down conversions on top of the obvious scoreboard that showed the Tide winning 42-14.
4. Manti Te'o Will Be the Best Defensive Player on the Field
Irish linebacker Manti Te'o was the Heisman Trophy runner-up this season. Statistically, though, he was not much different at all from Alabama's C.J. Mosley.
In the game, Te'o, who has been reported to have only missed two tackles all season, was a non-factor. He missed several tackles throughout the game, was knocked off the ball all night by Alabama linemen and was dusted more than once by Tide running back Eddie Lacy.
Technically, Te'o did have 10 tackles on the night but, considering the number of opportunities he had, it was a less than impressive effort.
Mosley, on the other hand, had eight tackles for the Tide, one for a loss of six yards as he suplexed an Irish ball carrier with brute strength.
Who was the better man Monday night? The slight edge has to go to Mosley, for the missed tackles by Te'o, if nothing more.
5. Notre Dame Will Be Able to Stop Alabama from Running Effectively
The Irish entered the game with the fourth best rushing defense in the nation.
I suggested, though, that Alabama's two-headed running attack of T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy, along with the best offensive line in the land, would be able to neutralize the Notre Dame front seven and run effectively.
Lacy came out with a bang and set the tone for the entire night on the first possession. With his patented spin move, Lacy put up 140 yards on just 20 carries on the night, averaging seven yards per attempt.
He was spelled by the freshman Yeldon, who was also effective with 21 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown of his own.
The Irish front was gassed much of the night and the Tide was able to run at will.
6. Irish TE Eifert Will Give the Tide Defense Fits
Golson went to Eifert twice on the first drive, both incomplete due in part to great coverage by Dee Milliner of the Tide.
Eifert proved on this night that he is a very, very good tight end and has the kind of talent that will transfer well to the NFL. He represented his team well, too, catching six balls for a total of 61 yards.
Unfortunately, and as I suggested in the original article, these kinds of numbers were not enough to make a difference in the game.
Look, Eifert is every bit as good as advertised, but he is not a game changer. Tight ends rarely are.
Notre Dame needed him to be a game changer in lieu of their glaring weaknesses at other possessions. It wasn't his fault, but Eifert was and is little more than a complementary piece. He played with the heart of a champion against Alabama, but didn't have enough help around him to change the outcome.