Larry Burton (Syndicated Writer) Alabama vs LSU, strength against strength, great defense against great defense, but inside this game will be fought another battle, a game in itself that will bear watching, Julio Jones, perhaps Alabama's best receiver against Patrick Peterson, LSU's best defender.
The two players know each other all too well, they have gone head to head three years in a row and each was a good battle.
While Peterson may have won the heads to head battles last year, Jones won the day because of superior conditioning.
While playing head to head, Peterson held Jones to just two catches for only 19 yards, but then a problem with cramps took Peterson out as it has done over his career.
During one of those times he was on the sidelines with cramps, Jones took a screen pass and went 74 yards for the back breaking touchdown and over a hundred yards total.
Later in the game Peterson apparently all but took a sure catch out of Jones hands for an interception that could have gotten LSU back in the game, but the replay showed he was out of bounds by inches.
Miles said at a press conference this week that he intends to spread Peterson around to keep the Tide guessing, but most feel his primary cover target will be Jones.
"I'm not saying that we will shadow Julio Jones," Miles said. "I think it will be a mix and match. Hopefully at the right times we'll have Patrick Peterson on him, and at other times I don't feel that bad at having some other guys on him. I think Julio Jones is a very talented receiver. I just think we are pretty good at corner."
Not only will the battle between the great receiver and the great corner be, but the chess match between coaches.
How often will Alabama challenge Peterson? Will Bama quarterback McElroy check back to Julio when he comes to the line and sees Peterson covering someone else?
All these things together will make this an interesting game to watch.