Two stellar running backs, and one of college football's best offensive lines represent Notre Dame's greatest test on Monday.
Despite boasting one of college football's best defenses, Notre Dame isn't overlooking the ability of Alabama to move the ball on the ground.
Only twice this year opposing teams managed to score rushing touchdowns against the Fighting Irish, but they haven't quite seen a running attack like the Crimson Tide's before. Scoring 35 rushing touchdowns this year, Alabama have a varied attack using Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon -- both of whom scored double-figures touchdowns this season, and ran for over 6 yards-per-carry.
Running behind one of the nation's best offensive lines, Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco is preparing his players for the National Championship Game on Monday night:
"They're the finest collection tackle to tackle, group of players that we've faced so far. [...] The offensive line is really the marquee position group of that pretty marquee offense."
Manti Te'o will be charged with stopping Alabama's running backs, a task that is easier said that done. For the best linebacker in the nation, and certain first-round pick in April's NFL draft, it should provide a great final exam for his college career.
Monday night's game will hinge on Notre Dame's ability to stop the run, and they're ready.