Alabama vs. LSU: Underrated Players Who Will Lead Their Team to Championship Win

T.J. McaloonContributorJanuary 6, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Michael Ford #42 of the LSU Tigers scores a touchdown in overtime that was called back after Ford stepped out of bounds against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

By now, you’ve probably heard everything you want to know about LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu, aka “The Honey Badger," or Alabama’s Heisman Trophy finalist, Trent Richardson. However, who you should be paying attention to are these relatively-obscure-to-unknown players that will help in shaping how the game pans out. 


Michael Ford, LSU Running Back

Ford has been a solid running back for LSU this year, gaining 755 yards on 123 carries and averaging 6.1 yards per carry. However, when the stakes have been the highest, Ford has shown up with some of his biggest games. 

In LSU’s first game against Oregon, Ford went off for 96 rushing yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns. He was a huge reason why the Tigers were able to control the game clock against the Ducks, as LSU had a six-minute advantage over Oregon. 

Against Alabama earlier this year, Ford was the only LSU offensive player who could do anything against Alabama’s suffocating defense. In the BCS National Championship Game, he will find a way to have around 100 yards and two touchdowns, helping LSU control the flow of the game.


Marquis Maze, Alabama Wide Receiver

Maze had his best season at Alabama this year. He had career highs in receptions (56) and receiving yards (627). However, Maze has been kept out of the end zone, as he only has one touchdown this season. 

Against LSU, Maze was the only Alabama receiver to have any success against the Tigers' secondary. His six receptions were three times more than what his fellow Crimson Tide receivers could do, and his 61 receiving yards were almost double what Darius Hanks had.

Maze has to find a way to get open for his quarterback, A.J. McCarron. If he can find some holes in the LSU secondary, it can get McCarron into a nice rhythm that results in the Alabama passing attack exploding for a big game. 


Drew Alleman, LSU Kicker

If there ever was a game where the kicker could very easily win the Most Valuable Player award, it would be this game. 

You can say that LSU’s defense was the reason why they won the game, but you would be wrong. The defense didn’t score any points against Alabama in their first meeting; the only player to score against Alabama was Alleman, as he was perfect in three field-goal attempts in a 9-6 win.

If these two defenses shut each other out again, it will be up to Alleman to help LSU capture their third BCS championship and win their second BCS National Championship Game. 


These three players may not be on your radar right now as people to watch out for. However, each of them has a great chance to have a huge game for their respective teams on Monday night.