The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 4, 2013

ND players say Irish, Tide defenses are alike

— FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — When No. 1 Notre Dame lines up on offense Monday night in the BCS championship, the team on the other side of the ball will look a little familiar.

Fighting Irish players and coaches said Friday that the defense for No. 2 Alabama and their own have some similarities.

Irish running back Theo Riddick says that the Crimson Tide defense is "very big, very athletic" and very good. While Notre Dame leads the nation in scoring defense by a fraction of a point over Alabama, the Crimson Tide gave up the fewest yards per game of any team in the country.

Irish offensive coordinator Chuck Martin says the two defenses also operate out of similar defensive fronts.

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