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2021 Alabama vs. Notre Dame
2021 Rose Bowl Alabama vs Notre Dame
Alabama Football Podcast breaks down the Tide’s opening round victory against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
The End is in Sight
In his post-game comments Saban indicated Alabama “didn’t come here to end here”. An indication that Notre Dame, while certainly respected, was perceived only as an obstacle to be cleared, much like a running back sets up his next move with little regard for the tackler at his feet. Alabama played the game with this ‘next move in mind’ clearly on display. The offense turtled in the second half while defenders were rested or shelved altogether. A clear indication that this team understands there is more work to be done.
Jahleel Breaks the Matrix
Twice Billingsley made plays that appeared as cut and paste reels from prior games. A DeVonta deep cross draws the safety while effectively land granting Jahleel the left quarter of the end zone was plucked from the LSU game. Meanwhile, a chain moving catch on a left to right shallow cross with a defender draped on his back was a dead ringer for a play against Florida. The only difference is the Gator defender was flagged while the Irish got away with one.
Knife to a Gun Fight
Notre Dame had a solid offensive game plan for Alabama. The only hitch is that it lacked explosiveness. Recognizing Alabama can struggle with running backs and tight ends in coverage, Notre Dame doubled down allocating 58 of 80 offensive plays to either these positions or quarterback runs, another Tide soft spot. Meanwhile, the Irish conceded a 3rd of the field in willfully not attacking corner Patrick Surtain for most of the ballgame. It was a strategy that worked in some regard but never demonstrated an ability to keep pace with Alabama’s full arsenal.
A full breakdown of my breakdown is available on the pod, but the Tide defense unfolded a clever wrinkle in starting strong safety DeMarco Hellams ahead of regular starter Daniel Wright, electing to go with he 210lb thumper in anticipation of the Irish tight end attack.
Mini Game balls
Anyone can read a headline, but which players contributed in more subtle ways to the Tide’s fortune?
Alabama takes flight to Miami for a matchup with Ohio State with the National Championship on the line.
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