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Irish Blogger Gathering: Beat Bama Edition

Jan 5, 2013, 8:43 AM EDT

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So this is it…the moment you’ve all been waiting for.

Nope, not the highly anticipated matchup between #1 Notre Dame and #2 Alabama, but rather, Subway Domer’s take on the big game in the final Irish Blogger Gathering of the season.

It has been great fun to participate in this year’s IBG, along with Subway Domer, the Her Loyal Sons blog team and Keith Arnold from NBC’s Inside The Irish. Beginning all the way back in September, we’ve traded questions about Irish football each week during Notre Dame’s incredible ride to the BCS championship.

As you prepare for the biggest Notre Dame football game in almost 25 years, here are Subway Domer’s thoughts on Monday night…

Everyone seems to be talking about the Notre Dame front seven vs. the Alabama offensive line, and the play of Irish quarterback Everett Golson. Are there any other match-ups or x-factors you are particularly looking forward to watching?

Those of course are obvious choices, and not because of the usual journalistic laziness that accompanies a football game, but because those are clearly the strengths for both teams and they will be going at it all night. However it is truly good, right, and salutary that we should remember in all times and in all places, that this is a TEAM game and I gladly lift up this cup to toast those “X” factors.

Notre Dame’s Receivers: Can Notre Dame’s receivers match the physicality of the Alabama defensive backs? Will they be able to get off the line of scrimmage? Will they be able to get seperation while running their routes? Will they be able to physically handle the Alabama secondary during a run play? If this group can do these things, it will give the Irish offense that much more of a better chance to move the ball and score on a very good Crimson Tide defense.

Notre Dame’s Safeties: It’s no big secret that Alabama will want to try and pound the football and then look to go vertical with the play-action pass. This is what has made McCarron so efficient all season. Can Farley and Motta handle this attack? Can they provide the much needed run support while also patrolling the deep halves of the field? The Irish safeties have been pretty darn stout all season – can they handle and control this assault? If they can, Bama is in for a rough night and will look much like the other offenses that tried this attack this season… STOPPED.

Between the ND fans and ND haters, the Alabama fans and Alabama haters, and the SEC fans and SEC haters, It’s safe to say Monday will be one of the most watched college football games of all time. What kind of message would a Fighting Irish victory send to the sports world?

As much as Irish fans believe that Notre Dame football is essentially “back,” there is no way to convince much of the nation of this (let alone the haters) unless this season ends with a win over the SEC champ & defending national champ for the National Championship. That’s it. Otherwise the “overrated” talk hits – regardless of how the game played out.

MESSAGE? We’re back and we’re taking your girlfriends.

As Notre Dame bloggers, I think we can all agree that the Irish are going to win on Monday? Why? How will it all go down?

Yeah, I think it is safe to say that we are all calling for the win. Obviously, I’m in that mix and I think it all comes down to the basics of what everybody is talking about… TRENCH WARFARE. Look, I have an abundance of confidence in both the offensive line and the front seven of the defense and I think they eventually take over – but not in some awe-inspiring fashion. It will be a more gradual process.

Now, we can sit here and try to come up with some different scenarios about how this game is played out, but I honestly think that we are in for a big surprise, if not only because of some wrinkles that Kelly installs for the offense.

In the end, Notre Dame’s offense does just enough to put the “W” in the column for the Irish. A 23-19 score sounds about right.

ROLL TEARS ROLL!

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