ESPN analyst Trevor Matich describes what Notre Dame could try to do to contain Alabama's offense
Alabama enters the College Football Playoff with the top scoring offense in the Power 5. The Crimson Tide average 49.7 points per game, No. 2 nationally this season behind a Kent State team that averaged 49.8 points per game in four games played.
Stopping Mac Jones and his talented supporting cast is a tall task for a Notre Dame team coming off of a 34-10 loss to the Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
On Tuesday night during a bowl postgame show, ESPN analyst Trevor Matich described what the Fighting Irish can try to do against Alabama.
“I think that defense didn’t lose that Clemson game playing their best,” Matich said. “I thought that they should have played tighter on those receivers because they’ve got a really good secondary. And then, Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame has one of the best playmaking safeties in all of college football. No. 6 is Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, one of the best playmaking linebackers in all of college football. They’ve got the personnel to stay closer to receivers than they did against Clemson. That left some pretty easy throws that I don’t think they needed to do. Now, Alabama – hard to play them real close. You’ve gotta bracket DeVonta Smith no matter who you’ve got the secondary. But still, they can’t leave wide-open zones, because Mac Jones will torch them in those areas.”
The Notre Dame defense finished No. 14 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 18.6 points per game. No SEC defenses are in the top 10. Georgia, No. 20, is the highest-ranked of Alabama’s opponents in scoring defense.