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Alabama ready to take on big-play Irish defense

When Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier sizes up the Crimson Tide's challenge in the BCS championship, it's cracking a Notre Dame team that leads the nation in scoring defense.

No. 2 Alabama will take on the top-ranked Fighting Irish on Monday night with the national title at stake. Nussmeier and key players from the Crimson Tide are speaking to reporters Thursday.

Nussmeier says what impresses him most about the Irish is that they play tough in the red zone and only give up 10 points a game. Of course, that's only a fraction of a point less than what the Tide has allowed.

Alabama QB AJ McCarron credits Nussmeier with helping him improve. McCarron notes that under the first-year coordinator he's thrown less but for more yards.