- Frank Coyle's Blog
- College Football Mondays
- Ahead of the Curve
- NFL News
- College News
- Order Publication
LSU – Alabama #1 Game Matchup
Photo - WR Rueben Randle - LSU
The much anticipated matchup of #1 LSU and #2 Alabama is finally here today after building to fever pitch over the past month. This has all the makings of this season’s Game of the Century in a classic old time battle where both clubs display a strong physical presence and dominant defenses that attack the line of scrimmage.
Both clubs like to run the ball and play field position while relying on efficient QB play. But the defensive play of both teams is worth the price of admission. What’s at stake? The SEC West Division title and the claim to undisputed #1 national ranking this week. Both clubs are 8-0 and have only one major test after today in their regular season finale – LSU faces Arkansas and Alabama meets Auburn. Winning the SEC has translated into 5 consecutive national titles. Last season’s matchup was a thrilling LSU 24-21 victory in Baton Rouge. Today’s contest is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the scene of so many huge Tide victories.
The key to this game may be Bama star tailback Trent Richardson who was injured in last years’ losing effort. Richardson has been the catalyst for most Tide wins this season and is having a performance that ranks him one of the top three Heisman Trophy candidates. A big effort today could go a long way in winning this game, national title and the Heisman award. The LSU front seven will be fully tested by Richardson and may be the critical deciding factor in the outcome.
LSU and Alabama have incredible secondaries that already rank with NFL defenses. This game features potentially five #1 defensive back picks from both clubs over just the next two draft classes. Sophomore corner Tyrann Mathieu has been a huge impact defender for the Tigers over the early season. He is coming off a one game suspension for dress code and plenty of time to prepare for this clash of SEC titans. Both teams have had two weeks to prepare coming off a bye week that has contributed to the hype of this classic late season matchup.
Prediction - LSU 24 - Alabama 20
Game Within the Game Matchup
LSU Receiver Rueben Randle vs Alabama Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick
Great matchup of two future high #1 NFL Draft picks, maybe next April. This game features countless high draft selections especially on the defensive side of the ball. There could be as many as 8 defensive backs in this game starting eventually in the pro game.
Wideout Rueben Randle is a former five-star recruit entering LSU who struggled over his first two seasons. He is having a major breakout season despite QB changes and a rotation of starters. He has benefitted from more consistent play at QB that has allowed him to start to realize his enormous athletic potential.
Randle has already past his receptions total from last season and currently leads the SEC with 7 TD receptions despite double coverage. He has a big lean 6’4’’, 205 lb frame with a great skill set for the position. He has the vertical speed to get deep consistently and the agility, hands and run after the catch ability to take the underneath passes and make a big play.
Bama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick has rare physical skills for the position. He has great size at 6’3” and plays a physical brand of fotoball that HC Nick Saban plays and demands. He has an NFL safety body with cornerback athleticism and skills. His combination of size, hands and speed ranks him the top cornerback currently with the development to be one of the blue chip prospects for the NFL Draft 2012.
Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game.