MIAMI -- Alabama coach Nick Saban has built this program on suffocating defense.
The 2009 national championship defense was one of the best in school history. The 2011 national championship defense was even better.
But with the Crimson Tide leading 28-0 at halftime over Notre Dame in the Discover BCS National Championship Game, it's probably time we give a little love to this Alabama offense.
The feeling coming into the season was that Alabama would be dominant in its offensive line, and the Crimson Tide have been just that. Center Barrett Jones, guard Chance Warmack and tackles Cyrus Kouandjio and D.J. Fluker all have promising NFL futures.
But the guy who's really made a difference is junior quarterback AJ McCarron and the way he's run this offense. He's in total command right now, and not just as a passer, but as a guy who's making all of the right decisions and all of the right checks.
He's been pretty impressive as a passer, too. The throw he dropped in to Christion Jones for 27 yards to set up the Tide's last touchdown before halftime couldn't have been thrown any better.
The other thing is that Alabama's skill players on offense are hard to tackle, and they make plays. Go back and watch junior receiver Kevin Norwood in last season's BCS National Championship Game and all the plays he made, and he's doing it again tonight.
And then there's junior running back Eddie Lacy, who has 304 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns in his last six quarters.
Defense wins championships, but offensive balance makes it a lot easier.