It's no secret that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish depend heavily on their running game. Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood are two of the biggest reasons that the Irish find themselves in the BCS Championship game. Unfortunately for them, the Alabama Crimson Tide boast the nation's top run defense, as noted by J. J. Stankevitz of CSN Chicago. That could put the pressure on quarterback Everett Golson. How much pressure?
Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin was looking at the "big play" tape of teams running against Alabama, and said that there were only a few on tape, and joked that he asked if all 12 games were actually on the tape.
Alabama allowed only seven runs of 20-plus yards in 13 games, and only one of those went for more than 30 yards. Teams averaged under 80 yards per game against Alabama's defense, and only three teams had 100-yard rushers. Two of them - LSU and Texas A7M - took 49 and 46 rushing plays to get to that 100-yard mark.
In short, the yardage is going to be hard-fought. The Irish won't abandon the rushing attack, but they may have to get creative to get to Alabama in that way. It also means the Irish are depending more on Golson to make plays. They want the quarterback to be able to come in and handle the heavy lifting when the going gets tough for the running back.
Golson thinks he's up for the challenge, saying that he's "not the type that really succumbs to pressure."