With the latest chapter of the "Game of the Century" hours away, it is hard to even concentrate on the possibilities of the outcome. Alabama football fans that have been paying attention at the series vs. LSU remember a handful of plays that made a difference.Let's give it a try on a collection of five power plays that we might see out of Alabama OC Jim McElwain's playbook for the championship night.
Here is a play that was a big part of the 2009 national championship run: McElroy tossing the ball to a much missed Julio Jones. The game looked to be a dead lock with a slight edge to LSU before this game changer.
This year that receiver would be DeAndrew White. He is not as tall and physical as Julio Jones, but his 6'1" can outstretch Tyrann Matheu's 5'9". White was a former track star in high school, so his speed can take over once he hauls in a pass.
A sweet 2011 Iron Bowl blowout makes you forget about this play. This was the early dagger to the Auburn defense which opened up the field for the run plays. It seems that every defense the Crimson Tide encounters tends to crowd the tackle-to-tackle area in anticipation for Trent Richardson.
I would predict that this play will be set up this exact way with the same timing on the game. Kenny Bell has seen success with this scheme, so he is the best candidate for it. Even if this is not as successful as before, it will provide their offense the threat of the long play, giving just enough room for Trent of Eddie to do their damage throughout the game.
This one is a no brainer on who should imitate the former Heisman trophy winner. Trent Richardson as a short-pass receiver has been proven with success against the Bengal squad. In the past November 5th game, he caught five receptions for 80 yards. It was his second best receiving game this season after his 85 yards against Arkansas.
We have not seen much of these kind of plays since the departure of Terrence Cody. Once commit 345-lb Alphonse Taylor comes into the picture next year, we might see a lot more of it.
A good candidate to execute the play in this game would be the biggest player on the roster, sophomore 335-lb D.J. Fluker. As you can see on the video, this can also serve as a bluff for the offense. The defense would load up the middle preparing for a big pressure move, and Trent can easily take a slant route instead.
Every time Alabama fans watch this play, a feeling of regret sets in. But don't forget that if it wasn't for that late pull from Eric Reed, this could have been the game winner. LSU is expecting this same play, so some sort of target has been set on the back of TE Michael Williams.
If this play comes out again, it will be for Brad Smelley. He is a smaller TE, but has some experience on reaching for the ball when it is being contested. Smelley had a good performance during their last game against the Auburn Tigers gaining 86 receiving yards. Also, don't be surprised if Marquis Maze takes the option of running the ball instead of passing it to an open receiver.
This guy has to have a big game in order for these plays to even make a difference. This task of predicting game changers would be a lot more difficult with complicated offenses like Oregon's or West Virginia's.
The bottom line is that Alabama's offense is more cut and dry because of their talent and power. But Nick Saban often must become more tricky against difficult opponents like Florida, Auburn and LSU. We will all see which play(s) become the game changer of this much anticipated rematch.