2013 BCS National Championship Preview and Pick Against the Spread: Alabama Vs. Notre Dame

The Alabama Crimson Tide and Notre Dame Fighting Irish will square off in the 2013 BCS National Championship on January 7th. This season, Alabama won the SEC West with a 7-1 conference record and went on to beat Georgia in the SEC Championship game. The Crimson Tide head into the National Championship with an overall record of 12-1. Notre Dame survived several close games and were able to go a perfect 12-0 this season. The Fighting Irish won five games by a touchdown or less and won two games in overtime.

When Notre Dame is on Offense

Notre Dame ranks 76th in the nation in scoring at 26.8 points per game. Sophomore quarterback Everett Golson did not get off to a great start to the season, but he finished strong. Golson had some rough games early including the game against Michigan in which he completed 3 of 8 passes with 2 interceptions. He progressed throughout the year and finished the season with a 59% completion percentage, 11touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. Golson’s favorite target is tight end Tyler Eifert (44 catches, 624 yards). The Irish like to run the football, and they have two solid running backs. Theo Riddick ran for 880 yards on 4.9 yards per carry and Cierre Wood rack up 740 yards rushing on 6.7 yards per carry.

The Crimson Tide rank 2nd in the nation in scoring defense allowing just 10.7 points per game. Alabama is tops in the nation in total defense, holding opponents to 246 yards per game. They were extremely effective against the run this season and their opponents only averaged 2.5 yards per carry.

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When Alabama is on Offense

Alabama ranks 14th in the nation in scoring at 38.5 points per game. Quarterback A.J. McCarron was extremely efficient this year completing 67% of his passes for 26 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions. Amari Cooper was the top receiver for the Tide with 53 catches for 895 yards. Alabama has a two-headed monster in the backfield with running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. The duo averaged 6.5 yards per carry and combined for 2182 yards and 27 touchdowns.

The Fighting Irish rank 1st in scoring defense allowing just 10.3 points per game. Linebacker Manti Te’o is the leader of the defense and his stellar play this season made him a Heisman finalist. Te’o had at least 10 tackles in 6 games this season and is 2nd in the nation with 7 interceptions. The Fighting Irish are extremely tough in the red zone and only allowed 10 touchdowns all season.

2013 BCS National Championship Pick Against the Spread

Alabama is currently a 9.5-point favorite over Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS National Championship. In a game featuring two of the best defenses in the country it’s Alabama’s offense that will be the big difference in the game. The Crimson Tide clearly have a better offense with A.J. McCarron at quarterback and two great running backs. I expect a low-scoring game with Alabama coming out on top. However, I’m taking Notre Dame with the points because I think their defense will do enough to keep it closer than the 9.5-points spread.

Prediction: Alabama 20 – Notre Dame 13

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Source

espn.go.com/college-football/bowls