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ND / BAMA Thoughts

  • Beware Long Read...

    After several weeks of trying to figure out how this game will play out, I have finally have a feel for how I predict the game will unfold.

    First of all I would say this season for ND has been a dream season with many many breaks that have gone their way. The games in which they appeared to blow out teams (OKL & USC) were actually much closer than the scores indicated. I will touch on that more in a bit, but I really feel that ND is very lucky to be in this game and overall may be the weakest team in the NC game overall (DEF / OFF / ST) in several years. ND has a very good Defense / decent Offense and ok ST. That being said this BAMA team would probably be ranked 3rd out of the 2009/2011/2012 teams. All the media is trying to hype ND in this game and I think that it has blinded many BAMA fans view of what BAMA has done this season. We are still ranked the #1 overall defense and our Offense is much better than ND’s, oh yes and our Special Teams are also much better overall.

    AL O vs. ND D
    If I hear any more about ND’s front 7 being the same as an SEC front 7 then I may throw up on myself. We got it.

    Notre Dame
    DE Tuitt 6’6” 305
    DE Lewis Moore 6’4” 300
    DT Louis Nix is 6’3” 330

    LB Danny Spond 6’2” 248
    LB Prince Shembo 6’2” 250
    LB Manti Teo 6’2” 255
    LB Danny Fox 6’2” 240

    DE Garrison Smith 6’3” 294
    DE C. Washington 6’3” 280
    DT John Jenkins 6’3” 351 / K. Geathers 6’6” 350

    LB Jordan Jenkins 6’3” 257
    LB Jarvis Jones 6’3” 241
    LB Alec Olgeltree 6’3” 236
    LB Amarlo Herrera 6"2” 231

    I compared the ND front 7 to the UGA front 7 just to show that ND may have a few more lbs in the DE & LB position but they are not as athletic as Jones or Olgeltree. I strongly believe that ND will have to stack 8 in the box to stop the run against our 2 TE set and when we are in a 3 WR set they will have to send an extra LB or DB on the blitz to get pressure on AJ. With that being said, I predict Amari Cooper and Norwood to have a strong game when matched up against ND Freshman (RB converted CB) KeiVarae Russell who was torched against USC as well as OKL. In general the ND back 7 is not that athletic and if Lacey / Yeldon / Cooper / C. Jones get in the open field they can make their man miss and potential to score at any time. I really expect Nuss to start out with some easy throws to Amari and even Michael Williams to loosen the ND defense before starting to pound the ball with Lacey and Yeldon. The big key to the rushing attack will be how well Michael Williams and Brian Volger can block the DE & LB to set the edge for outside runs or seal the inside for counter plays. Lacey has been running like a man possessed the past 2 games and I would not expect to stop Monday Night. He is “running to get paid” and knows with a big game he could potentially slip into the top of the 2nd or even the end of the 1st round with a big game.

    Our offensive line and backs will know where Teo is at all times but I just don’t think ND has the playmakers in their front 7 to cause too many issues for AJ in the passing game. I would predict that by the end of the 2nd or 1st part of the 3rd quarter we will be able to run the ball 4-6 yards a pop and if that happens earlier then the game could get ugly. AJ is healthy for the first time in a while and Amari will be fresh as well. ND does not have anyone that can match Amari in man-to-man and I would expect AJ to have a solid game. My guess would be the Offense scores 27-30 points.

    ND O vs. BAMA D

    As terrible as ESPN and every media outlet wants to make our Defense out to be, guess what it is still the #1 Defense in the country. We have starters on Defense that have been banged up quite a bit for the 2nd half of the season and they have had 6 weeks to recover. ND players earlier today said that they watched the Texas A&M game and saw how to exploit BAMA’s defense. Let’s see: your team is missing (2) 1st round OTs, a Heisman QB, and a 6’5” WR. Oh and I almost forgot our team has had 6 weeks to correct our mistakes against Texas A&M. If you look at ND’s schedule there are several things that jump out when you dissect it as a whole. The teams that they had close games with had very good chances to win and ND did not do much to “WIN” the game as the other team “LOST” the game. Also, take a look at Golson’s body of work for the entire season.

    Think about this: Did ND “WIN” most of their games or did the teams they were playing LOSE the game with a chance to win:

    - PITT GAME - terrible pass inf call in 4th quarter on ND 4th down led to ND TD / Golsen INT on 7 yard line going in to score / OT fumble by ND in 2nd OT / PITT missed FG from 33 in 2nd OT

    - PURDUE GAME - Tied up with 2 min left Tommy Rees leads a 40 yard drive with 6 incompletions for a FG

    - MICH GAME - Golson 3/8 with 2 INTs / 6 Michigan Turnovers and only score 13 points

    - STANFORD GAME - Up 13-10 Tommy Rees takes ND down the field and get PI call on 3rd down / We all know what happen in OT with Stanford scoring but play was not overturned / Also Tommy Rees is one who led ND on their TD score

    - BYU GAME - Golson hurt and Rees throws a total of 3 passes 2nd half / ND Trailing going into 4th Quarter 14-10 / BYU had it 1st and 10 on the ND 31 and did not even get FG off

    - BC GAME - Golson’s best game 16/24 2 tds (2-8) BC Record Won 21-6

    - Wake Forrest - Golson’s stat padding game 20/30 346 3 TDs

    - USC - 15/26 Golson no TDs / USC WR drops 2 TD passes from 1st & goal in the 4th quarter

    Golson was benched 4 times this season and Rees is the one who led them on 4th quarter drives to win games this season. Golson threw a grand total of 2 TDs against 5 toughest opponents.

    - A few other notes Stanford & USC played with inexperienced backups

    - Their big win of the year (Road game @ OKL) has been one that I have had trouble figuring out until you dissect the game. OKL Gave up (2) big plays a 62 yd run, 50 yard bomb, and the last TD was a 20 yard drive after OKL had turned over on downs. OKL had (2) holding penatlies in the redone which resulted in 2 short FGs in the 1st & 2nd quarter or they would have had a lead going into the 2nd half.
    Game was 10-6 going into the 4th quarter and tied with 8 min left in the 4th quarter. OKL had 15 yards rushing and the game was still tied with 8 min left in the game.

    Standord 147 rushing
    Pitt (Ray Graham) rushed for 176 yards ( Rutgers / Temple / Cincy only other games over 100)

    - ND scored more than 25 points 5 times and only once against a ranked team OKL

    - BAMA has only scored less than 25 (2) times LSU & A&M with 8 times scoring more than 40

    Everyone is wanting to compare Golson to Manziel or Tebow and I am lost how they can even make than comparison. Tebow was a 4 year starter and Hiesman winner and Manziel was a Hiesman winner as well and was shut down after the 1st quarter. Oh and that game was after a tough LSU game on the road. I only mention all of this because Nick Saban feast on young QBs and he will make Golson have to beat BAMA with his arm. He has not had to do this all season and especially late in games. He has been benched 4 times and can only beat BAMA with his legs IMO. You don’t think that we have been putting together a scheme for the past 6 weeks? I would expect us to load the box and have Mosley shadow Golson like we did after the 1st quarter against Manziel. The biggest passing threat is their TE and they will try to use him very similar to how LSU & A&M dink/dunked BAMA to death. Not sure who we will line up on their TE but my guess would be that he will not have a free release and will be bumped by the DE or LB which should slow him down. I look for us to stop the run early and get pressure on Golson while hitting him early and often. If you think back it was not until we started to hit Johnny Football that we were able to slow him down.

    ND’s O-Line is solid but not spectacular and I believe the areas they will have issues with are Jessie’s strength, disguised blitz packages up the middle and Jeffery Pagan’s penetration. I really feel that ND will not test Milner’s side and Belue will be much better after 6 weeks of coaching then he was against UGA. He was in great position but just did not get his head around. Biggest concern for me would be Robert Lester in pass coverage and open field tackling. I am not sure if he has been injured or has just taken a step backwards but recently he has had some bad whiffs in the open field and some brain farts in pass coverage. Hopefully Kirby and Nick have cleaned this up in the past few weeks, but this is the biggest concern for me. ND has a decent running game but no where near UGA or LSU so I figure the game will come down to pressuring Golson and not allowing the big play deep. Their TE will have his catches but we just need to minimize his YAC.
    I would venture to guess that their Offense puts up 13-17 points.

    Special Teams

    Punting NET
    BAMA 39.1
    ND 38.2

    Punt Return
    BAMA (40) 10.18
    ND (115) 2.44

    Kickoff Return
    BAMA (12) 24.8
    ND (84) 20.4

    Kickoff Return Defense
    BAMA (72) 21.9 (42 Touchbacks)
    ND (80) 22.4 (25 Touchbacks)

    BAMA 28 forced / 15 lost

    ND 23 forced / 14 lost


    Nick Saban…..That is all you need to remember.
    He may not be the best in-game coach, but there is not a better coach to prepare his players mentally and physically for the big game. Kelly will have a few tricks up his sleeve and he will need all the tricks he has in his bag to hit for ND to be in this game in the 4th quarter. Only way we are not up by 12-16 points in the 4th quarter is if we have more than 2 TOs and a special teams TD against us.

    My prediction is that BAMA wins 27-14 for 3rd title in 4 years.

    Hide the women and children….One last side note for fans across the country is that this was a “rebuilding year” and we will be better next year.

    Roll Tide,


  • Good post +1

  • Solid post.

    Seems like every team can run against their front 7, regardless of what the pundits on ESPN say how stout they are. And we're coming in the game with two of the best backs in the country that they haven't seen before.

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  • Rushing Rank & Bowl Result

    PITT (92) - Graham 24-172 (7.2) Losing to Ole Miss 24-10
    STAN (49) - Taylor 28-102 (3.8) Won bowl game 20 - 14 over WISC
    MICH ST (77) - Bell 19-77 (3.9) Won bowl game 17-16 over TCU
    USC (73) Redd - 12-77 (6.4) Lost to GA Tech 21-7
    MIAMI (83) - 18-87 (4.7) No Bowl Game
    MICH (41) - 41-161 (3.9) Lost to USC 28-33
    NAVY(6th) 40-149 (3.8) Won Bowl game vs. Ariz St 62-28

    Only teams ND kept under 90 yards rushing
    Wake (116) No bowl 5-7 record (lost to Vandy 55-21)
    BC (119) No bowl 2-10 record
    OKL (61) Lost 41-13 to TA&M
    Purdue (59) Lost 59-14 in bowl to OKL St
    BYU (66th) Won bowl 23-6 vs. San Diego St.

    4 Teams had over 150 yards rushing

    If BAMA rushes for over 150 Saban is 50-0.

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  • I know all I hear is that the ND defense is the best dfense that Bama WILL HAVE PLAYED.
    IMO this is debatable. There is no question that Bama WILL be the best defense that ND has played.

  • bama58

    . . . by far!!!

  • VegasTide

    I'm down voting the first person to reply with the OPs message quoted.

    You have been warned...

  • Lucky

    strong analysis

    247Sports and BOL updates:

  • I know you are not necessarily advocating this position, just repeating it, but is this really something people think is true? Are LSU and Georgua's defenses not straight nasty, especially considering how ferociously they played on the nights we played them? I have no doubt that ND's defense will play solid but if we can maneuver our way around those two defenses and their scary athleticism I've got to think there's not much ND can throw at us defensively that we can't handle.

    Appreciate the time and effort OP, nice analysis.

  • Good analysis but your conclusion of ND with 13-17 points doesn't fit with it. Your analysis (which I agree with) suggests they don't hit double digits. But they do have a tough redzone defense so I don't think we score a lot of TD's. My guess is 19-6.

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  • Great posts. Nice analysis. Both LSU and UGA were foaming at the mouth to get us, making the task more difficult. Have not seen it mentioned over the last few days but against aTm we were coming off consecutive tough games against MSU and LSU. MSU was undefeated at the time and highly motivated.

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  • This is the point that keeps getting missed. Their defense hasnt played a good offensive team, outside of OU... and we all know what kind of eggs they tend to lay 2-3 games each year.

    There is NO reason we shouldnt be able to run on them at will... and when their offense cant keep drives going, we will wear them down and pummel them

  • I've watched a lot of film on Notre Dame this weekend to help calm my nerves. I bought into the ESPN "analysis" and was starting to worry myself. Took a visit to TYT to get some game film on ND for this year and I came away convinced that this could be a blowout win for us on an epic stage.

    ND reminds me a lot like Auburn 2010 minus Cam Newton. Auburn that year did not have NFL prospects except for Fairley on the defensive front 7, but they were led by a lot of seniors that bought into a defensive system that made enough plays when it mattered most. Same goes for ND's offense. Not overly talented, but they work well together and they are a seasoned experienced bunch. Lastly, they have been overly lucky on the mistakes that other teams have made. Auburn in 2010 watched while Clemson missed a chipshot FG in overtime (same as ND watched Pitt miss a 30 yarder in OT), as other teams had unfortunate breaks that year. ND experienced the same thing all year long. For some reason, teams that play against them go retarded. Fumbled snaps, missed extra points, phantom substitution penalties. Many of their games have been decided by 7 points or less (in the 4th with 5 minutes to go) to teams that we would've blown out like BYU, Stanford, USC, Pitt, Purdue, Oklahoma. And we did curb-stomp Michigan that they struggled with to the very end. This ND team has been going on lucky breaks the entire season and they don't have the skill that everybody on television says they have. Not a lot of talent, but well coached and they play well together as a team.

    And I'm tired of the Golson-is-the-next-Manziel comparisons. Throughout 2012, he has been benched for poor performance. His backup was the winner of at least two of those games when he was benched. Often times he threw the ball up for grabs like a hail mary and the other team's defender would slip on the turf and ND would magically score (see end of Pitt game). Golson has 300 yards rushing on the entire season, where as Manziel would nearly put up that many rushing yards in one game against Oklahoma, who ND struggled with. They are ranked #65 in total offense, with only a dozen or so more yards than Western Kentucky and UAB. This is the team that scored only one touchdown against USC and Michigan.

    As for their defense, they are a thin bunch. If their corner goes down, I'm not sure if they even have a replacement on their depth chart, which is why they are starting two true freshmen at CB. I expect us to throw at will. Their front 7 gave up 172 rushing yards to Ray Graham who easily ran between the tackles. Yes, that same Ray Graham who is 185lbs on a good day. Barkevious Mingo and Jarvis Jones are higher rated on most mock drafts than Te'o, and we beat both of those teams. Te'o has never gone up against an offensive line that routinely gets to the second level. Say hello to Chance Warmack and DJ Fluker for me.

    My final thoughts are this:

    1) I don't see how we don't score at least 30 points on their "vaunted" defense.
    2) I don't see how they can score more than 13 on us.
    3) We have to play our worst game of the season and they have to play their best game of the season in order for them to have a chance.
    4) If we show up with our average game (LSU, A&M, UGA), we win by 14+ points.
    5) If we show up with our best game, we win by 30+ points, and that's only because we call off the dogs in the 3rd quarter and put in Blake Sims and Kenyan Drake to run out the clock.

    Final Score: 45-13, and that's with 7 of their points coming against our scout team defense in the final moments.

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  • damn dude you are good !

  • I actually like reading comments about games, after they are played, to see how good they were. There were so many delusional ND fans before the game. I read a ND board about a week after the game. It was hilarious. They were actually commenting on the board while the game was going on, which I never do because I am far too in to the game for that. It started out so optimistic about 6 hours before game time. Talking about how they were going to run all over Bama. How Te'o was going to get to Lacy and Yeldon, get thru that Oline, etc. Cheering because ND won the coin toss (that was the only thing they won that night LOL). After the first 2:03 of the game when Lacy made the first TD, they were still optimistic, said that Golson was going to rally the team and they just needed to settle down. After the 2nd TD Bama scored in the 1st quarter, one guy said "Ok, ok, we can handle this, just need to settle down, no reason for worry" but another guy said "this is not what I expected. This is starting to look bad". By the 2nd quarter when it was 21-0, one guy said he needed to stop drinking because he was punching too many holes in the walls. LOL At halftime when Coach Kelly said "maybe Alabama doesn't come out the 2nd half, it's all Alabama right now" they were furious with him for saying that. By the 3rd quarter, when it was 35-0, they were absolutely dismal on the board, talking about how this was so embarrassing, they never should have been in the game. One guy said he was going to bed. LOL Another said he couldn't watch anymore and by the 4th quarter, the board was pretty quiet. LOL I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!


  • Since this thread was brought back up, I'm happy for the old timers who got to see Bama whip ND's A$$. I'm not an old timer myself, but I know it meant a lot to a lot of people, and I was glad to see it happen. Time to move on now....August 31, 2013, is when business begins for this coming fiscal year, and I can't wait. 2013 is our year too! Roll Tide!cool

    This post was edited by JDPaden 11 months ago

    Some people bring a knife to a gun fight. Mark Richt brings a Super Soaker 2000.

  • Speaking just for myself and not all old timers this run has been particularly enjoyable because it's involved wins over Texas, Michigan, and Notre Dame. But that was then and this is now.

  • You can add a Penn State to that list. But I want to add Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida State, and USC to that list. Of course that's when USC has recovered from their loss of scholarships.