The Notre Dame Irish are heavy underdogs against SEC-best Alabama. Everett Golson, a redshirt freshman QB, will be the key factor for the Irish to pull off the gigantic upset.
The odds may be perceived to be against the Irish, but they have every opportunity to play with Alabama and beat them if Golson steps up on the big stage.
Golson isn’t a “mobile” quarterback as some have labeled him. His strengths don’t rest in taking off and creating plays on his own.
However, he does have the ability to run off of the read option or when tight coverage prevents plays from developing. He’s done it time and time again this season.
As soon as the defense reads pass and falls back into coverage, Golson can tuck the ball and pick up significant chunks of yardage due to the focus downfield.
That’s especially true if the Crimson Tide blitz and attempt to lock down the Irish receivers in man-to-man coverage. If that’s the case, Golson could become a runner and exploit Alabama by running in areas vacated by those coverages.
By keeping Golson in the pocket, Brian Kelly has the ability to create an effective and balanced game plan that can utilize his talents without allowing the defense to anticipate it.
Keeping Bama guessing and using Golson in a variety of different ways is the biggest key to the Irish winning the national championship.
He has progressed significantly to this point in the season. The first-year QB survived tests against Stanford, USC and Oklahoma. Although he was sidelined during the team’s overtime win over the Cardinal.
The moral of the story is that Golson is no longer an inexperienced QB. He’s developed along the way and is much more attuned to the game than he was in the early running.
His rocket arm, ability to evade the rush and extend plays with his feet will gives him all the tools he needs in order to make plays against Alabama’s defense.
Don’t sleep on Golson or the Irish. They are better than most give them credit for.
Their young and dynamic QB will be the difference maker that will earn them their first national championship since 1988.