Alabama's offense had its way with Notre Dame's defense. Perhaps the most striking thing was the fact that the Crimson Tide was neither going after nor avoiding the Irish's best defensive player, Manti Te'o. It just didn't seem to care.
After all, Alabama's first half on offense would have been a great entire game for any one of Notre Dame's other opponents. To wit:
|Category||ND Opp. Average||Alabama|
|Plays 20+ Yds.||2.4||6|
The old football cliche goes that you're never as good as you look on your best day and never as bad as you look on your worst day. With that being mostly true, it's clear that Alabama is a completely different class of team than what Notre Dame has faced before. The Fighting Irish were battle tested by some close games and faced good teams like Stanford and Oklahoma. None of them have the size and speed that Bama does, and Notre Dame is simply shell shocked.