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Alabama vs Notre Dame: A College Football Playoff Preview -

On January 1, in one CFP semifinal game, the matchup will be Alabama vs Notre Dame. The Crimson Tide is undefeated at 11–0, while the Fighting Irish come in at 10–1.

Alabama is coming off a 52–46 win over Florida in the SEC Championship Game. Notre Dame is fresh off a 34–10 loss at the hands of the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Championship Game.

Below is a breakdown of the matchup.

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Tide has been an offensive machine all season, scoring 38 or more points in every game. This will be Alabama’s 6th appearance in the College Football Playoff. In the CFP era, the Tide has been to four national championship games, winning two titles.

The Offense

The Alabama offensive unit ranks in the Top 5 in several categories:

  • #5 in FBS in total offense= 543 yards/game.
  • #2 in FBS in scoring offense= 49 points/game.
  • #5 in FBS in passing offense= 354 yards/game.
  • #1 in FBS in 3rd down conversions= 59.20%
  • 91% success in the red zone.

Players to Watch

QB Mac Jones:

  • #3 in the FBS in passing at 339 yards/game.
  • 3739 yards
  • 32 TDs
  • 4 INTs
  • 76.5% completion pct.

RB Najee Harris:

  • 1262 yards
  • 24 TDs
  • Averaged 114 yards/game.
  • 3 games with 3 rushing TDs.
  • 1 game with 5 rushing TDs.
  • 3 games over 100 yards rushing.
  • 1 game over 200 yards rushing.

WR Devonta Smith:

  • 98 catches
  • 1511 yards
  • Averaged 15 yards per catch.
  • 17 TDs
  • 1 rushing TD
  • 1 punt RET for TD
  • 5 games over 100 yards receiving.
  • 2 games over 200 yards receiving.

LB Will Anderson, Jr.:

LB Chris Allen:

LB Christian Harris:

LB Dylan Moses:

DB Malachi Moore:

Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish have gone 43–7 over the last four years. This will be Notre Dame’s second appearance in the College Football Playoff.

The Defense

The Notre Dame defense has been stingy in 2020.

  • Allowing 18 points/game.
  • 86 tackles for loss, averaging 7 per game. Good enough for #4 in the FBS.
  • #6 in the FBS in Opponents 3rd Down Conversion at 29.37%.

Players to Watch

QB Ian Book:

  • 2601 passing yards
  • 15 TDs
  • 2 INTs
  • 64% completion pct.
  • Threw zero TD passes against Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.

RB Kyren Williams:

DL Adetokunbo Ogundeji:

Alabama vs Notre Dame. Who Wins?

As far as opponents’ defenses go, this could be Alabama’s biggest challenge this season. But in the end, the Tide has too many weapons on offense and Nick Saban will have his defense ready. Alabama wins to reach their 5th national championship game in the CFP era.

Thanks for reading thegridironnews.com.

Material for this article sourced from cfbstats.com and collegefootballplayoff.com.

Originally published at https://thegridironnews.com on December 28, 2020.

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Tony Thomas

Tony Thomas

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I’m a Grandparent, military veteran, and college football junkie. I operate the website thegridironnews.com. Email: amichael0864@yahoo.com.