Mosley Says Tide Will Be Prepared

What was the biggest surprise of the BCS National Championship Game played a little over a year ago at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans? To many, it may have been the Alabama defensive domination of LSU. To others, the play of Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron or wide receiver Kevin Norwood. Maybe the kicking of Jeremy Shelley.

How about this for the biggest surprise:

Following Alabama's 21-0 victory to win the national championship, C.J. Mosley was on the awards stand. It wasn't a surprise because he didn't deserve it. Mosley was on crutches because in the third quarter he suffered a dislocated hip. The dislocation was reversed and Mosley was able to make it back for the ceremony.

Mosley said following Saturday's practice that he is looking forward to playing all four quarters in this year's national championship game. Bama is back on the biggest stage in college football, facing Notre Dame for the title. The Fighting Irish are 12-0 and ranked first in the nation, the Crimson Tide 12-1 and rated second. They will play on Jan. 7 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.

Alabama players are off Sunday and Monday. They will return to the practice field Tuesday and fly to South Florida after a Wednesday morning workout.

Mosley, 6-2, 232, from Theodore, is full of surprises, not the least being that he has announced he will return for his senior season in 2013. Mosley was selected by his team as Alabama's most valuable player in 2012. He was a consensus All-America. He led the Tide in tackles with 99.

Mosley took a guess at which Tide player might be the surprise of the game against Notre Dame.

"I think Geno Smith has a good chance of doing that," Mosley said.

Smith is a true freshman cornerback who has moved into the star position, the nickel back. Alabama plays nickel more often than its advertised 3-4 alignment.

Smith played in 12 games with two starts, making eight tackles and breaking up two passes.

Mosley said, "He played a big role in the SEC Championship Game. We'll see him out there a lot (against Notre Dame), so hopefully he'll make some big plays. He's playing a big part in our nickel package. Him being in that role has made a big difference."

Mosley has also given thought to the Notre Dame players he will be going against. The Fighting Irish have some multiple weapons in tailback Theo Riddick and tight end Tyler Eifert. Riddick, a former wide receiver, and Eifert are both used as wide receivers at time, which can affect personnel match-ups.

Mosley said the extra time to prepare for this game makes that less a problem. "We're going to line the right people up with the personnel," he said. "We'll have our DBs on their skill players, and when the running back flexes out, we're going to motion out and go with what they do. They're going to try to make some mismatches. We're going to do our best to scheme up and put our players in the right position."

Mosley is well aware of the problem Eifert presents. "He's a great tight end," said Mosley. "When they throw the ball to him, he goes up and gets it. He's very aggressive. We're going to see what he can do when we go up against him."

Last year Alabama was playing the national championship game against LSU, an SEC rival the Crimson Tide had played just a couple of months earlier. Obviously, preparation this year is for an opponent Bama players were not familiar with.

Mosley said the preparation does not feel different. "Not so much," he said. "Not right now. We're practicing and doing the same stuff we did last year. We're just doing our best to get ready for what they have going, but once we get down there we're really going to get a feel for what's going on. We're going to have 100 per cent focus on what they do."

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