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Irish Blogger Gathering: Roll The Tide Edition

Dec 29, 2012, 9:31 AM EST

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It’s been five weeks since Notre Dame last played a game, and luckily for us, the wait is almost over. The Fighting Irish leave for Miami on Wednesday in preparation for their clash with Alabama on Jan. 7.

For the big game, we’re splitting the Irish Blogger Gathering into two parts. One today, and the second a week from now (Jan. 5).

In the first of our two-part IBG for the national championship game, I sent my questions to NDtex from Her Loyal Sons. In turn, Subway Domer asked me about the big game, Everett Golson, and my thoughts on statues. Visit his site to check out my answers.

Also, don’t forget to check out Inside The Irish for the rest of IBG.

Without further ado, here’s what NDtex had to say…

The big matchup everyone is talking about is the Alabama offensive line vs. the Notre Dame defensive line. In the SEC championship, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon ran all over Georgia, but with a little better clock management, the Bulldogs might have won. Do the Irish have to shut down the Tide running game, or can they win even if these guys get their yards?

I definitely believe that our front seven can contain the Alabama rushing offense, but we shouldn’t just gloss over AJ McCaron and the Tide passing offense as well. Either way, the gameplan will be the same as it has been all season: bend, but don’t break. If the Irish can continue to prevent the big strikes, the big plays and stops will take care of themselves.

Or to say it in another way, I have all kinds of confidence in the Irish defense. Bring it.

When Notre Dame and Alabama meet in Miami, it will have been more than six weeks since the game at USC. Are you concerned with this layoff? Do the Tide benefit at all from having been there last year, or do you think that intangible is overrated?

I am, to a point. Alabama has to deal with a layoff too and, to be honest, I don’t think five or six weeks makes any difference. What I do worry about is a chance that the Irish have some slight rust and give up a big play far too soon. For instance, look at Miami. ND had a bye week and it took them a while to adjust to their speed when the game started. Thankfully, the Hurricanes aided the Irish by dropping some sure TDs, but we can’t count on those same mistakes again.

And I honestly don’t think it matters that the Tide have “been here” before either. The Irish have “been here” every week. The national spotlight and scrutiny have been on the Irish all season. I truly believe Kelly has this team prepared to handle everything in stride and January 7 will be just another game they need to win.

We’re all Notre Dame bloggers, so I’m going to assume we all expect the Irish to upset Alabama. How do you think the game will play out? Why will Notre Dame hoist the crystal ball on Jan. 7?

I anticipate this game is going to be a slugfest, much like ND/OU was out in Norman. If the Irish follow the same blueprint as they have in 2012 (solid defense and minimize mistakes on offense) there is no reason why the crystal football won’t find it’s way back to South Bend.

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