BCS Championship Game (Sunday)
The head coaches met with the media early this morning forone final time to set the scene for Monday's showdown. The week has been void of major distractions,but each team has had it's own motivation. For Notre Dame it has been obvious that they have felt disrespected by the media and tired of being overlooked for the mighty SEC. Alabama's motivation comes from within in which is theabilityto make history with a victory. I also think the Irish trash talking earlier in the week (calling out Alabama's defense)could add a little extra for the Crimson Tide.
Brian Kelly whose candid responses all week have seemed genuine admitted that his team will be nervous but that once the game starts they will be fine. He always mentioned who they are and that's what they will be on Monday night " Fighting Irish". Kelly admitted to making it a four quarter game and don't rule out taking some shots early. The Irish are very comfortable in tight games and have won two over time games this season.
Nick Saban quickly pointed out that Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson is a much better passer than many have given him credit for. He pounded home the fact that the team which executes the best will win the game. He believes that AJ McCarron's experience in last year's game could be an edge for the Crimson Tide. He also said the Irish have plent of weapons including tight end Tyler Eifert. He also believes the team that focuses best on the things that effect the game and the outcome will win. He shows his team video of Mariano Rivera as motivation for focus.
Key players for the Irish and which Crimson Tide players will be on "alert" for them...
- Tyler Eifert, tight end: John Mackey award winner as top TE in country. Finished with 44 receptions for 624 yds.
- Manti Te'o, linebacker: He won every award possible and nearly won the Heisman. He was responsible for 11 of the Irish 23 forced turnovers.
- Everett Golson, quarterback: he threw for 2,135 yards with 11 td's and just five interceptions. He helped Notre Dame finish 11 th in the country in time of possession.
- CJ Moseley, linebacker: He will have to keep an eye on the Irish tight end. He has three career interceptions returned for touchdowns. He made the key play versus Georgia in the SEC title game.
- Eddie Lacy, running back: He will have to keep an eye on Te'oon delayed blitzes and shake him lose in the run game. Lacy finished the season strong rushing for 411 yards in the last three games.
- Dee Milliner, defensive back: he is the leader in the secondary and must keep an eye on the scrambling Golson. He led the nation with 18 pass break ups.
Alabama has made eight previous Orange Bowl appearances (4-4)
- 1943 win over Boston College 37-21
- 1953 61-6 win over Syracuse
- 1963 17-0 win over Oklahoma
- 1965 21-17 loss to Texas
- 1966 39-28 win over Nebraska
- 1972 38-6 loss to Nebraska
- 1975 13-11 loss to Notre Dame
- 2000 35-34(ot) loss to Michigan
Tonight is the the BCS Gala, a black tie event at the Miami sequarium. I will be at the Fan Fest in South Beach for the concert featuring Flo Rida and Dierks Bentley. Last nights pep rallys were well attended including a crowd of 20,00 0 for Notre Dame which had to be a record of some sort. I have covered this game for a decade and that is the largest pep rally I have ever seen for one team. Alabama will watch a team movie and keep themselves secluded for tomorrow nights big game.