FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—The last time Alabama faced a mobile quarterback, things didn't work out so well.
Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel threw for 253 yards and ran for 92 more, sprinkling in two touchdowns, too. Since then, the Crimson Tide has vowed to make sure they don't get beat by the same scheme twice.
Monday, when Alabama faces Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship at Sun Life Stadium, they'll face another guy who has a knack for extending plays in Everett Golson. Containment, communication and patience will be key.
"You look at their scramble reel and there's a lot of plays that a guy has really great arm talent because he can throw one side of the field to the other," said defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. "I can see in my mind three plays we watched over and over. He scrambles to his right, throws it all the way across the field to his left to a wide-open receiver where a guy just lost him. They had him covered and they lost him.
"To that kid's credit, that creates a different angle of the offense that's hard to prepare for. It's hard to simulate. You can't do it. You just play with great effort and great discipline and do your job as a defense."
McCarron's shoe fetish
"I don't understand it," he said. "You can't wear them all."
Later, McCarron was asked to confirm the fashion report.
"I've got a lot of shoes," he said, smiling. "I've always been that way ever since I was little. I figure you can wear the same outfit and change the shoes and it looks like a totally different outfit."
Those with a high fashion IQ would probably beg to differ, but that's McCarron's story and he's sticking to it.
"Me and Kenny [Bell] go back and forth and kind of compete and see how many each of us have," McCarron said. "But yeah, I definitely brought a lot."
Won in the trenches
The perception of a game like this—Alabama's offensive line vs. Notre Dame's front seven; the Crimson Tide's top-ranked defense against the Fighting Irish's mobile quarterback—is that it will be won in the trenches.
"I think it always is and it always will be," Smart said. "Because if you can make them one dimensional, you've got a shot."
Defensive end Damion Square said punching the opponent in the mouth for 60 minutes is exactly how he wants the game to be played.
"Whenever you play a game that you've got a team that's coming downhill and they're trying to play the way it's supposed to be played with double teaming, the three technique, you feel like you have control over the game," he said. "And with me being a D-lineman, I want the game to played in the trenches. I want the pressure on me because I feel like I can be big for my team in that situation."
For more Alabama coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!