College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Notre Dame vs. Alabama 1/1/2021 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Notre Dame visits Alabama on 1/1/2021 at 4:00PM.

Notre Dame and Alabama face off in a Bowl Game. Yes, it is the truncated postseason of College Football leading up to the College Football Playoff Semifinals. Notre Dame has a record of 0-1 this season. Alabama is 1-0 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Notre Dame Team Defense Preview

Notre Dame has had 115 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.0 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Notre Dame is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Notre Dame opponents pass the football 56.00% of the time.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Notre Dame opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.32 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. This is also a team that is allowing running backs and quarterbacks to get to the second-level in an average fashion. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

Notre Dame has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Notre Dame should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Notre Dame is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Notre Dame Team Offense Preview

Notre Dame has had 112 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 6.01 plays per drive. When you are among the best at plays per drive, you are certainly a team that aims to wear down the opposition with a high play count or with long, physical grinding drives that eat up a lot of clock. We need to find out more here when it comes to Notre Dame. Notre Dame has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Passing plays make up 44.73% of their play calls.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

On first downs, getting ahead of the chains is crucial and running the ball well on first down can get a team there, Notre Dame has done a good job avoiding the negative yardage rushing plays. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Notre Dame can take credit for 3.25 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

Notre Dame has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Notre Dame is a better passing team than running team this season.

Alabama Team Defense Preview

Alabama has had 108 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.13 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Alabama is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Alabama opponents pass the football 54.15% of the time.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Alabama is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.6 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. This is also a team that is allowing running backs and quarterbacks to get to the second-level in an average fashion. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Alabama has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Getting more specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!Alabama is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Alabama Team Offense Preview

Alabama has had 106 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.52 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Any defense is in for a challenge with Alabama, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Alabama passes the football 51.97% of the time.Alabama tends to pass more than other teams.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.26 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Alabama has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. Alabama is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. Alabama is a better passing team than running team this season.

The Notre Dame Roster

The Players to Watch for Notre Dame

Ian Book QB 6-0 206

This season, Ian Book has put up 2600 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 148.1thus far this season. Ian Book has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Ian Book has 430.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 94.93 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 101.0 times this season, which puts him in the 94.63 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 8.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Kyren Williams RB 5-9 204

This season, Kyren Williams has 1061 rushing yards on 195 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 12 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Kyren Williams picked up 282 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 27 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Javon McKinley WR 6-2 215

This season, Javon McKinley picked up 697 yards. He caught the ball 40 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 3 receiving touchdowns this season.

Isaiah Foskey DL 6-4 255.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Notre Dame, Isaiah Foskey has 20 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 5 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 85.18 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 4 times this season, which put him in the 92.77 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Kyle Hamilton DB 6-4 216.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Notre Dame, Kyle Hamilton had 56 tackles which puts him in the 95.06 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 4 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 96.01 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Kyle Hamilton as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 81.65 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Shaun Crawford CB 5-9 180

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Notre Dame, Shaun Crawford had 48 tackles which puts him in the 98.07 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 4 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 99.03 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 2 times this season. Shaun Crawford as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 79.56 percentile among Corners this season.

The Alabama Roster

The Players to Watch for Alabama

Mac Jones QB 6-2 214

This season, Mac Jones has put up 3739 yards and 32 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 202.3thus far this season. Mac Jones has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Mac Jones has -9.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 15.22 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 26.0 times this season, which puts him in the 61.34 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Najee Harris RB 6-2 230

This season, Najee Harris has 1262 rushing yards on 214 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 24 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Najee Harris picked up 316 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 32 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 3 receiving touchdowns this season.

Devonta Smith WR 6-1 175

This season, Devonta Smith picked up 1511 yards. He caught the ball 98 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 17 receiving touchdowns this season.

Phidarian Mathis DL 6-4 312.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Alabama, Phidarian Mathis has 29 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 5 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 85.18 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 79.19 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Jordan Battle DB 6-1 210.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Alabama, Jordan Battle had 58 tackles which puts him in the 95.51 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 84.61 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Jordan Battle as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 81.65 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Notre Dame vs. Alabama Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Notre Dame 26 Alabama 29

Spread Pick: Notre Dame +20.5 -110 Mybookie.ag
Moneyline Pick: Alabama -982 SportsInteraction
Total Pick: Under 66.5 -110 Mybookie.ag