Monday, January 7, 2013
Alabama bowl X factor
By Edward Aschoff
You didn't think we'd leave the defending champs out did you? Here's a look at Alabama's X factor in tonight's Discover BCS National Championship Game against No. 1 Notre Dame:
Adrian Hubbard, So., LB: The Crimson Tide had problems the last time it played a solid dual-threat quarterback. While Notre Dame's Everett Golson certainly isn't Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, he can make plays with his legs, and gives the Irish another threat in the running game. His ability to extend plays with his feet could make things tough on Alabama's secondary, which has had its issues at times this year. That's where Hubbard comes in. The strongside linebacker had a knack for making this difficult on quarterbacks all year long and he'll have to make sure he can contain Golson tonight. Hubbard finished the regular season with a team-high six sacks and 10 tackles for loss. He has the speed to get right into Golson's face, but he has to be patient as well because going in too quickly could make Golson that much tougher to defend if he gets room outside the pocket. Hubbard can bring good pressure and contain Golson in order to take away his dual-threat ability. Alabama needs Hubbard to make Golson uncomfortable so the defense doesn't get caught looking on plays like it did against Manziel.