ESPN analyst Desmond Howard says no SEC defense compares to Notre Dame’s


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Editor’s note: There were other media members present during Desmond Howard’s talk.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Crimson White: It seems like a lot of people have written Notre Dame off and give the championship to Alabama. How mentally prepared do you think Alabama will be for this game?

Desmond Howard: I’ve known Nick Saban since I was in high school – he recruited me when he was at Michigan State – and the one thing about Nick is that he’s more than just Xs and Os. He’s about the physique and the mental makeup. He’ll have them mentally prepared and I don’t think that will affect them. He really gets into the psychology of a player and gets them prepare.

CW: With Everett Golson being inexperienced, do you think Notre Dame will come out running the ball to take some of the pressure off of him?

DH: They have to. You don’t want to be one dimensional. I don’t know how successful they’ll be, but they can’t be one dimensional. Alabama has the same issue. They’re going up against Notre Dame’s front seven. I know everybody gets wooed by the SEC and enamored by that conference, but there isn’t a defense in the SEC like Notre Dame’s defense. None of them. So Alabama hasn’t seen a defense like this. That’s just reality.

CW: What are you expecting the atmosphere to be like considering both fans bases and how big this matchup is?

DH: I think it’s going to be electric, off the charts. You couldn’t have wished for a better matchup. Certain programs with their history and tradition bring something magical to the field. When you look at Notre Dame, they haven’t been relevant for a decade. Now they’re back on the scene and ready to make a statement. For Alabama, what they’ve done since Nick Saban has been there is amazing. I’m excited.

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