Posts Tagged ‘BCS National Championship Game keys to the game’

BCS National Championship Keys to the Game: Alabama vs. LSU 1/9/12

January 6th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on BCS National Championship Keys to the Game: Alabama vs. LSU 1/9/12
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And it all comes down to this… The BCS National Championship Game odds will finally be contested by the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers at the Louisiana Superdome. The “Game of the Century” from earlier this year will be replayed, and we offer up the five Alabama vs. LSU keys to the game for the biggest game of the year.

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. LSU Tigers
BCS National Championship Game Location: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA
BCS National Championship Game Date/Time: Monday, January 9th, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
BCS National Championship Game Television Coverage: ESPN,

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Key #1: Trent Richardson has to be a star
In fairness to Richardson, he did a heck of a lot in the first meeting between these two teams. He had 80 yards receiving and another 89 on the ground, and at the end of the day, that really made him the top offensive player on the field in a game in which there wasn’t a single touchdown scored. With 1,583 rushing yards, 327 receiving yards, and a total of 23 TDs, Richardson was good enough to win the Heisman Trophy this year. Those were numbers that were just as good as those of RB Mark Ingram when he won the Heisman Trophy two years ago. There haven’t been many players that have found some holes in that stout LSU defense, and for as great as those corners are on the outside, the best way to get the ball going anywhere against it is probably right up the middle of the field. Whether it is going to be by throwing the ball to him or letting him run it up there, the Tide have to find some way to really get Richardson going.

Key #2: Jordan Jefferson can’t turn the ball over like Jarrett Lee did
LSU fans that are screaming at the tops of their lungs that the Bayou Bengals should be favored in this game, especially with the slight home field advantage probably going their team’s way can definitely rest on the fact that Jefferson should be taking all of the snaps in this game, barring injury. Lee tossed two INTs to the tremendous Alabama defense, and with as sneakily good as that Tide offense can be, you just can’t give the ball up. Jefferson has done a nice job this year after that suspension for the off the field issues at the outset of the season. He has rebounded and gotten back in the good graces of the fans in Baton Rouge and with his coaching staff. His numbers aren’t particularly special at this point, as 684 passing yards and 248 rushing yards in basically six full games worth of playing time or so isn’t that special, but what Jefferson does that Lee doesn’t is manage a game and not turn the ball over. Jefferson only has one pick this year, and he historically does a nice job protecting the rock.

BCS National Championship Game Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Alabama Crimson Tide -1
LSU Tigers +1
Over/Under 41
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Key #3: Alabama’s special teams cannot be its downfall again
Anyone who watched the first “Game of the Century” can’t make the argument that the Bayou Bengals were clearly the better team. Alabama could have been argued as definitively the better side, but in truth, we would probably be splitting hairs to pick one team over the other. The real difference in that first meeting were the poor Crimson Tide special teams. It felt like it didn’t matter which kicker was coming out to give the ball the big boot, the ball wasn’t going through the uprights. It’s a miracle that the Tide picked up two field goals in that game with as badly as the ball was being kicked. This wasn’t just a problem in this game, though. Alabama only converted on 62.1 percent of its field goal tries this season, and that won’t cut it.


Key #4: LSU simply has to make Alabama punt the ball more
You would figure in a game that was tied 6-6 at the end of regulation would feature a ton of punts on both sides, right? Not quite in this case. The Crimson Tide only punted the ball twice to LSU, which really limited the amount of touches that DB Tyrann Mathieu had on the football. Mathieu ended up being a Heisman Trophy finalist this year because of the way that he broke open the games against the Arkansas Razorbacks and Georgia Bulldogs in successive weeks on national television. The “Honey Badger” as they call him, averaged well over 16 yards per punt return, and getting the ball into his hands is key. The Tide had more drives end on missed field goals than anything else on the day, and if you’re the Bayou Bengals, you can’t put yourself in that position once again.

Key #5: Brad Wing has to have another huge game
You’ll notice that we’re not talking a heck of a lot about offense or defense in this game. These two teams are absolutely mirror images of one another, save for the fact that the rushing game for Alabama is basically Richardson’s game, save for when he needs a spell, whereas LSU is going to use four or five different backs for a total of 40 carries per game. Wing can be a real game changer, though. He averaged over 44 yards per punt this year, and he was a dynamo when he really needed to be. Wing can punt the ball with either foot, and he has that rugby style kick that sometimes can turn into a fake punt if the coast is clear. It is just something for the Crimson Tide to think about, and it probably won’t let the likes of Richardson or WR Marquis Maze get free. Wing has allowed a grand total of six yards on punt returns this year, and he would really love for that to keep up in the BCS National Championship Game.

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