The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

BCS Championship

January 4, 2013

Alabama gets set for Irish offensive attack

— FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart runs the stingiest defense in the country when it comes to yards allowed, but sees a bunch of challenges in preparing for Notre Dame.

The second-ranked Crimson Tide plays the No. 1 Fighting Irish on Monday in the BCS title game and on Friday it was Alabama's turn to have its defensive leaders talk with reporters.

Smart said Notre Dame's running back-by-committee features a player with tremendous one-step quickness and explosiveness, Theo Riddick, and two with great speed, Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III.

"Those two dudes are fast, they are really fast," Smart said. "We recruited Atkinson, so we knew that. And the other guy (Wood) is just as fast. Riddick is quicker than the other two. He's got the ability to make you miss, a good stiff arm. You wouldn't think a former receiver would run with that much power. They're really good backs."

He said you have to seek out different tendencies with each back, noting that LSU had four runners to gameplan against in last year's championship game.

Notre Dame runs "all the same plays with each one of them, so they don't give you a tendency," Smart said.

Riddick has run for 880 yards and five touchdowns, Wood 740 and four TDs and Atkinson 378 and five scores. Riddick also is third on the team with 35 catches.

Defensive line standout Damion Square said an athletic quarterback like Notre Dame's redshirt freshman Everett Golson is a great weapon because he can keep plays alive.

"A quarterback like that can make them right for anything that he calls," Square said. "He can call a play that's probably busted and then the quarterback can scramble around for five seconds and create things and create havoc for our defense."

Text Only
BCS Championship
Poll

What is your favorite Easter candy?

Chocolate bunnies
Marshmallow chicks
Chocolate eggs with filling
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee