Have you ever heard the saying “Defense wins championships”? I’m pretty sure Alabama and LSU have. Defense is how both teams got to the BCS National Championship game.
For these two teams, the games are never a battle of offenses. They bring a great, prepared, and focused defense to every game. So whose defense will make it through the game and call themselves national champions? Here’s what I think each team needs to do to come out the winner…
For Alabama to grasp the title, they cannot have any injuries, and they really have to work with their kickers. Alabama’s kickers have been having trouble since the LSU game. They haven’t been able to kick normal 30-yard field goals. They need to feel confident and not let the pressure get to them like they did in the first LSU game. Alabama’s depth has gotten them through the season. Their star running backs (Trent Richardson, Eddy Lacy, and Jalston Fowler) and their great defense have really helped them get to the big game. In fact, Richardson was one of the finalists for this year’s Heisman Trophy. With regard to defense, star linebacker Dont’a Hightower will need to be sacking LSU’s quarterbacks.
For LSU, they need to go into the game with confidence, not cockiness. Their star cornerback, Tyrann Mathieu, cannot play the way he did in the previous matchup with Alabama. He basically went unnoticed in that game. In fact, in the middle of the game I asked my dad, “Where is Tyrann Mathieu? They haven’t even mentioned him.” I found myself focused more on the quarterback changes during that game than anything else! Jordon Jefferson and Jarrett Lee are LSU’s quarterbacks. Their coaches swap the two quarterbacks out multiple times in a game – an interesting strategy. How this works, only Lee, Jefferson, and LSU’s coach, Les Miles, know….
Alabama and LSU have played each other before, so is that an advantage or a disadvantage? Well, Alabama knows how LSU works and LSU knows how Alabama works. If each team does it right, Richardson should be triple teamed, and Mathieu will have multiple men ready to tackle him on punt returns. This will be a game of defense.