It’s not uncommon to have a common opponent or two with an opponent in the semi-finals, but of course, nothing is commonplace this college football season.
Only conference schedules and the fact that Notre Dame is ever in a conference is ample proof of this. In the absence of apples and apples comparisons, the study of films becomes even more important in building the Alabama-Notre Dame game in The Rose Bowl (played in Texas).
Several Irish players, coach Brian Kelly and attack coordinator Tommy Reese, gave their impressions of Alabama during the Monday morning group video interviews leading up to the kick-off Friday at 3 pm in Arlington.
There has been at least one comparison made with a former co-opponent who shared his technique with the top-ranked Crimson Tide. The fact that Notre Dame played Georgia in 2017 and 2019 was not lost on Reese.
“There are some similarities,” OC said. “It’s not the same defense. If you go back and examine clearly what Alabama was in the past, you’ll see a lot of parallels with what Georgia was like from 17 to 19. There is definitely some carryover. I don’t say there isn’t. But who?” The funny thing is you mentioned that, because getting into the game, this kind of what I expected was, hey, it would look a lot like Georgia. “
However, he indicated that it would not be a mirror image in any way. Also, Notre Dame lost both games with the Bulldogs, 20-19 in 2017 and 23-17 last fall. Midfielder Ian Bock said he also sees similarities in how the Alabama defense plays compared to Georgia’s defense.
Clemson is another analogue that the two teams have seen in recent years. It was the last time Alabama faced the Tigers in a national title match to close the 2018 season – an embarrassing 44-16 loss. He faced Irishman Clemson twice this year with a 47-40 win in overtime at home followed by a 34-10 loss in the ACC title match.
“Alabama keeps it a little more, and I don’t want to say simply, but Clemson has some very weird blueprints,” said Ben Scoronic, a recipient in Notre Dame. “So you never know what you’re going to get in every third. But they both obviously have great players in defense. They have a lot of future professionals in defense. So the level of talent is very similar between Clemson and the Alabama team.”
Kelly, when submitting the primary survey report, said they are following Nick Saban’s example by building a large physical defensive front with athletic players. “Patrick Sirten is probably the best corner we’ve ever seen,” Kelly said.
Attacking, he called Alabama “electric” and indicated that it was “scoring a number of bushels and bushels of points.” The Irish play a little differently when they have the ball.
Kelly said: “So I think we are not managing the Princeton attack from four angles, but we are trying to manage our attack, which has traditionally been an attack on the ball.” “So this still has to be on our minds about our inability to get into this game and change our identity, but the nice part about it is that it’s kind of our DNA this year.”
Kelly also mentioned the fact that Georgia and Olly Mays were able to run the ball over Alabama and were two of the three teams that stuck with Tide.
“We want to run the ball,” Kelly said. “We need to manage football. Depending on who we are and how we worked this year, we will have to operate the ball more effectively than we did the last time we played.”
The Irish ran 30 times for 44 net yards against Clemson in the rematch in Charlotte. This was the lowest lunge total of over 100 yards for the 20th floor game at FBS.
Given Alabama’s average score of 49.7 per game, is that a burden for Notre Dame’s quick attack?
“I don’t think that’s much pressure,” said Keren Williams, holding back. “We just play the match and stay true to our identity as criminals and we will be able to complete our defense and give them more room to breathe – more breathing space to play.
Alabama’s defensive speed impressed Skowronek, the recipient. Sirteen has emerged.
“I think it starts with his feet,” said Skoronic. “He has really good feet, and he is road reversible. But when you combine that with his height and athletic performance, that will make him one of the best potential players in the next NFL team. He has all the feelers. I’m excited to get out there on Friday and compete against him.”
Reese, the reserve midfielder, said when Notre Dame lost to Alabama in 2012 that he sees a well-trained Alabama defense.
“It’s structurally sound,” said Rees. “Their players play at a very high IQ and can adjust and take checks when you give them a different look, which is evidence of a well-trained team. Treat well, just like anyone we’ve played, which shows how well they fit the basics. Personally speaking, for me, it starts out.” “Surtain” is probably a good corner as I’ve seen it in college football any year, to be honest. We played with them at Year 12, and they had a really good corner, De Milliner. “
Notre Dame lost this 42-14 in the BCS title game after entering the best team. The Irishman is the underdog by three points this time as the No. 4 seed in the qualifiers with low outside expectations.
This is a trigger, said Williams, the contestant.
“Not everyone in the world believes in us. It is okay because we do not want anyone but us to believe in us.” “As long as we have as a team and a coaching staff, like everyone else in the building believes in us we know what we can do. We will go out on Friday and try our best and play by the standards of football at Notre Dame.”
“Being underdog is not new to us. We will continue to prove our identity to the world.”
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