Alabama defense ready for whatever Irish throw at them

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Alabama defense ready for whatever Irish throw at them

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Notre Dame has watched the tape, and feel they have an advantage against Alabama's secondary.
Most of that tape, though, is of Johnny Manziel's wizardry in Texas A&M's upset win over the Tide in November. For all the strides he's made in the last two months, Everett Golson is not Johnny Manziel. Still, both are young, elusive quarterbacks who can run, so the comparisons have been drawn.
"Hes a great quarterback," Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner said of Golson. "He makes plays last longer by using his legs. Any time youve got a dual-threat quarterback that can run and pass the ball like he does, they can be a challenge at any time because he can make plays last longer with his legs."
Linebacker C.J. Mosley noted how Manziel's scrambles and dashes out of the pocket got Alabama's defense out of its zones, gaps and contains against Texas A&M. It's plays like those that led Irish running back Theo Riddick to say Friday he thinks the Irish have an advantage over Alabama's secondary.
Accurate claim or not, Alabama's certainly aware of its mistakes against Manziel and using those to prepare for Golson. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart pointed out a play against Boston College where Golson scrambled right and threw to a wide open John Goodman in the end zone as a challenge for his defense.
"They lost him. To (the secondary's) credit that creates a different angle of the offense that's hard to prepare for. It's hard to simulate that, simulate a play that extends that long. You can't do it, you really can't."
So the goal for Alabama will be to pressure Golson and to restrain him from dancing outside the pocket. Golson can probably expect an array of blitzes he hasn't seen on tape as part of Alabama's effort to make him uncomfortable.
Perhaps a tougher aspect for Alabama to achieve will be to mute Tyler Eifert's production. The senior tight end has come on strong as of late, finally forging a relationship with Golson to the point where he's the go-to safety net. Eifert figured Alabama hasn't seem a player like him this year, a claim which Mosley backed up with the agreement of his defensive coordinator.
"They do a great job with what they do of getting No. 80 the ball," Smart said. "It forces you to do things that you're not used to doing."
Milliner, by the way, compared Eifert to ex-South Carolina and current Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery. That's probably more accurate than comparing Golson to Manziel, although if Notre Dame gets the same result Texas A&M had, that argument won't matter.

Preview: Eastern Illinois, Southern llinois in action today on CSN

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AP

Preview: Eastern Illinois, Southern llinois in action today on CSN

College basketball is back on CSN on Saturday as two local teams will be featured in live conference matchups.

In the first matchup at 11 a.m., Eastern Illinois will host Austin Peay in an Ohio Valley Conference clash on CSN+ while the second matchup has Evansville hosting Southern Illinois in a Missouri Valley Conference game at 1 p.m. on CSN.

Eastern Illinois (9-8, 1-3) is coming off of a conference loss to Murray State. Junior guard Montell Goodwin leads the charge for the Panthers as he's averaging 14.8 points per game on the season. Austin Peay (5-13, 1-3) just earned a tight win over SIU-Edwardsville to help end an 11-game losing streak. Junior Josh Robinson is having a strong season despite the losing as he's averaging 21.2 points per game for the Governors.

The second game will be on the main CSN at 1 p.m. as Southern Illinois (10-8, 3-2) tries to bounce back from a loss to Bradley. The Salukis are led by sophomore guard Armon Fletcher as the Edwardsville product leads the team at 13.7 points per game.

Evansville (10-8, 1-4) is coming off of three consecutive losses as the Purple Aces are trying to figure things out at home. Senior Jaylon Brown has been one of the Valley's premier scorers this season as he's putting up 20.9 points per contest.

MVC basketball doubleheader on CSN

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USA TODAY

MVC basketball doubleheader on CSN

Missouri Valley Conference basketball is back on CSN on Wednesday as a doubleheader begins at 6 p.m.

In the first game, Loyola will travel to Wichita State to face the Shockers in a 6 p.m. tip while the second game features Northern Iowa traveling to Bradley in a game that tips at 8 p.m.

Loyola (12-5, 2-2) has won two straight games as Chicago products Milton Doyle (Marshall) and Donte Ingram (Simeon) are both playing well. Doyle barely missed a triple-double in a win over Northern Iowa and followed that up with a career-high 35 points in a win over Bradley. Ingram has returned from a knee injury to give the Ramblers a boost as he had 25 in the win over Northern Iowa.

Wichita State (14-3, 4-0) has won five straight as they once again look like one of the Valley's best teams. Junior forward Darral Willis Jr. leads the Shockers in scoring at 12.1 points per game while sophomore Markis McDuffie is putting up 11.8 points per game. 

[RELATED: Complete NCAA coverage]

The second game of the doubleheader features Northern Iowa taking on Bradley. The Panthers (5-10, 0-4) have dropped five straight games as they're struggling to find help for senior guard Jeremy Morgan.

Bradley (7-10, 2-2) is coming off of a home loss to Loyola but they've had a solid bounceback season in head coach Brian Wardle's second year. The Braves only won five games all of last season as the roster has been revamped for this season.

Freshman guard Darrell Brown paces the Bradley offense at 12.2 points per game while junior forward JoJo McGlaston is putting up 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.