Alabama beat the luck out of the Irish Monday night in Miami, sealing the third national title for the Crimson Tide in four years.
Everett Golson couldn’t find a way to win, but he had a decent ballgame at quarterback against the Tide’s top-rated defense. It was wise of Brian Kelly not to play Tommy Rees. Although it was something that some Irish fans may have wanted to see, it would have been the wrong move.
The entire game, Notre Dame struggled to find room on offense and gain stops on defense, but there was no strategy that would have changed the outcome.
This was a loss that fell on defensive execution. The Irish were touted as one of the best front sevens in college football, but after the showdown against the Tide it is obvious that they hadn’t faced talent along the offensive front like Alabama’s.
Notre Dame’s offense struggled because of mistakes by skill players, and a lack of a ground game. The Irish only gained 32 yards on the ground and only attempted 14 carries with their running backs.
A lot of that was because the game was out of hand early, but the offensive identity of the Irish didn’t change in 25 minutes of football. They should have stayed the course and tried to control the ground more than they did.
Instead they handed the ball to Everett Golson and said pass. He did, and he finished the game 21-of-36 for 270 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
For a quarterback that is not known for his passing acumen, Golson looked as good as any quarterback against Alabama outside of Johnny Manziel.
Tommy Rees may have been a great advantage for the Irish as they looked for an experienced starter to help ease the transition into the Golson years, but this team is now led by Everett Golson and this is his offense to lead, in victory or defeat.
It was an impressive run at times for Golson as he tested the Alabama pass defense, but at the end of the day his 270 yards through the air were mere drops in a bottomless bucket of effort. Nothing that Golson did on Monday would have won the Irish that game.
The ability that Golson has to scramble helped the Irish keep drives alive at times—something that Tommy Rees would not have been able to do. In the end, the Irish were simply outmatched.
The Crimson Tide were prepared to step on the gas and not let up, and it paid off. The Crimson Tide deserved the title, and Golson deserved to stay the course.
He is the future of the Notre Dame offense as this team brings title aspirations back with a number of playmakers in 2013.