Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 1/6/13
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- No. 1 Notre Dame allows 10.3 points per game, best in the nation. No. 2 Alabama allows 10.7. So the BCS championship should be a defensive struggle, right? First to 12 wins. Well, maybe. Those offenses are pretty good, too. A look at some of the key matchups in Monday night's BCS championship game in Miami. ------ -- Alabama center Barrett Jones vs. Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix III. Jones is a two-time All-American who will be starting his third national championship game. Nix is a 326-pound run stuffer, a magnet for double-teams and a big reason the Fighting Irish have allowed only two rushing touchdowns. When Pittsburgh ran the ball well in the first half against Notre Dame, Nix was on the sideline with the flu. In the second half, when Nix came in, Pitt's running game was not nearly as effective. How much help Jones needs with Nix will go a long way toward determining whether the Irish can hold up against an Alabama running game that averages 5.6 yards per carry. ------ -- Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert vs. Alabama cornerbacks Dee Milliner and Deion Belue. Eifert is an All-American and the leading receiver for the Fighting Irish with 44 catches for 624 yards. He is the type of tight end that is all the rage in the NFL right now. Huge (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) but with the speed and agility to get down the field and make big plays. Alabama's safeties, specifically Robert Lester, are better equipped size-wise to matchup with Eifert, but the Notre Dame loves to get their big target matched up against a cornerback and have him outmuscle the smaller player. ------ -- Alabama running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon vs. Notre Dame inside linebackers Manti Te'o and Dan Fox. It's not just about stopping the run. Te'o, Fox and that Notre Dame front seven have been so good in run defense, allowing 3.2 yards per carry, it's allowed defensive coordinator Bob Diaco to play his safeties deep to protect inexperienced cornerbacks. If the linebackers need help containing Alabama's two 1,000-yard rushers, that leaves cornerbacks KeiVarae Russell and Bennett Jackson exposed. ------ -- Notre Dame left tackle Zack Martin and left guard Chris Watt vs. Alabama defensive ends Damion Square and Quinton Dial and strong side linebacker Adrian Hubbard. The Fighting Irish like to run left. A lot. The Fighting Irish coaches make no secret that Martin has been their best lineman. That should keep Square, a solid 286-pound senior, busy. Of course one of the keys to Alabama's defensive success is its depth. Martin and Watt won't get any breaks. ------ -- Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson vs. Alabama coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. Golson will be making his 13th career start. He has come a long way this season, but he's still relatively inexperienced and learning on the job. Saban and Smart are masters of mixing coverage and pressures and making quarterbacks generally miserable as they try to figure out what's coming. A confused quarterback is a mistake-prone quarterback and the Fighting Irish cannot afford Golson to regress in the biggest game of the season.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Steve Kerr: Steph Curry probably out for Game 3 against Blazers

Tyronn Lue hits back at Charles Barkley over comments

Redskins' lock up TE Reed for five-years and $50 million

Jaromir Jagr not ready to retire yet, re-signs with Panthers

Cowboys new practice facility to cost more than AT&T Stadium

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Trump denies cheating while golfing with Oscar De La Hoya

Joe Maddon: 'No problem' with Bryce Harper enjoying baseball

Bulls reportedly telling teams they will keep Jimmy Butler

Report: Kenny Smith could interview for Rockets coach

DeMarcus Cousins’ brother tasered during nightclub brawl

John Wall undergoes surgery on both knees

Patriots long snapper may have to leave team for Navy duties

WATCH: Matt Leinart's son shows off a throwing arm like his dad

Tennessee Titans' offensive lineman roasts former coach

Erik Spoelstra not happy with the firing of Frank Vogel

Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez catch some big fish on outing

How are the Warriors winning without Stephen Curry?

Why Toronto winning the first pick in the NHL draft is so important

Nike, Krispy Kreme collaborate on sweet Kyrie Irving sneakers

Did Johnny Manziel flip off camera crews in court?

Shilling wants to charge fans to watch games with him virtually?

Five MLB managers already on the hot seat

LeBron sidesteps question about reported ties to ‘Space Jam 2’

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How are the Warriors winning without Stephen Curry?

QUIZ: Name every player in MLB to pitch a perfect game

Dangerous hits spotlighted in Round 2 of the NHL playoffs

QUIZ: Name every Triple A Minor League Baseball team

Most exciting games of the 2016 NBA playoffs so far

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker