The Crimson Tide leave tomorrow for Pasedina, California. I have no doubts at all that Coach Saban has prepared the boys mentally and physically for their task at winning the BCS National Championship. Not only do they have one of the best offenses in the nation led by Heisman winning running back Mark Ingram, but a talented defensive side to their gameplay.
The Texas Passing Game
The Longhorns have a skilled offense led by two-time Heisman candidate quarterback Colt McCoy. McCoy threw for a career 13,244 yards and 112 touchdowns. This is no doubt a talented player and an asset for Texas. Along with the skilled quarterback, they have good starting recievers- Jordan Shipley and James Kirkendoll. Shipley and Kirkendoll have 3,700 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns combined. This combination has not only proven to be deadly, but a strong asset to Texas' game plan.
Alabama has proven it has the best defense in the nation, which is tough with as much competition as they've been proven to have had. If Alabama wants to shut down the Longhorn offense they will have to keep the wide recievers and bay and force Texas to run the ball. Then the odds will be in Alabama's favor while the twin linebackers and the stacked defensive line man-handle the running back.
The Alabama Running & Passing Game
If Alabama can keep its running game high and mighty everything should go positively for the Crimson Tide. Mark Ingram this year gathered over 1,542 rushing yards, second to Stanford running back, Toby Gerhart... May I add he is only a sophomore. In both his freshman and sophomore year Ingram has accumulated over 27 touchdowns and was the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Together, Ingram and Tim Tebow are the youngest to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
Presumably Alabama needs to go into the National Championship knowing Texas will try to shut down Mark Ingram every chance they get. This is where five star wide reciever Quintoris (Julio) Jones comes in. Usually Jones is faced with double coverage from the safety and cornerback but since with this speed and agility he should have no trouble coping with this. Another talented wide reciever, Marquis Maze will help the Tide's passing game. He proved to be a strong asset in the game against LSU back in November and will definitely play a large role in the National Championship game.
Now comes the issue of the quarterback... The leader of the pack. Greg McElroy, as any Crimson Tide fan would know, has had passing problems in the past few games but finally found his rythem in the SEC Championship game against Florida. If he can stick to a solid game plan and relaxed (but alert) attitude coming into this football game, he should be just fine.
Alabama and Texas both have very solid football teams, as they both have proven over this season. The Crimson Tide seem to be picked as the favorite to win the National Championship game but not by far. As Nick Saban would have you know- "we have to play all sixty minutes of this football game." And he is entirely right, Texas has a strong chance to come in and take it. After all, this is the National Championship game.