LSU vs. Alabama: Trent Richardson Will Clinch Heisman with Beastly Performance

Tom LoughreyAnalyst IIINovember 1, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide breaks out in open field away from Malik Jackson #97 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On Saturday, the Alabama Crimson Tide must rely on junior running back Trent Richardson if they want to claim the No. 1 ranking and give Richardson a shot at the prestigious Heisman trophy.

If you haven’t seen Richardson’s 76-yard touchdown run for the Alabama Crimson Tide, you’re missing out.

ESPN immortalized the run, saying it gave Richardson his “signature Heisman highlight.” However, it’s the junior running back’s 17 touchdown runs on just 149 carries that make him my current pick for the Heisman trophy.

He’s only 11 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark on the ground, averaging a career-high 6.6 yards per carry. Richardson has also collected 212 receiving yards on 18 receptions, with yet another TD.

The Crimson Tide are 8-0 this season, and they boast the best scoring defense in college football. Only ranked opponents have put up double digits against the stingy ‘Bama defense, and two teams have been unable to score a single point.

On Saturday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. ET, the No. 2 Crimson Tide will square off with the No. 1 LSU Tigers. The SEC squads have been the talk of the NCAA all season, and this matchup was marked on the calendar of football fans after the Tigers knocked off the Oregon Ducks in the season opener.

There will undoubtedly be stout defense on both sides of the ball at times, but Richardson will be the X-factor. He is in the top 10 of Division I in rushing yards (989) and touchdowns (17), despite being outside the top 25 in carries.

My preseason pick for the Heisman was Oregon’s LaMichael James, but an elbow injury curbed the back’s season. Houston quarterback Case Keenum could make a strong case for the Heisman, but Richardson’s opponents are simply better.

The Tide’s passing game is average at best, and should be used to create room for their star back. On defense, Alabama will hound LSU’s shaky passing game. This game will not be a blowout, but don’t expect LSU to have a chance to win at the end.

The time for Alabama to gather its 14th National Championship and second Heisman trophy has come.