LSU vs. Alabama Rematch: 3 Key Matchups No One Is Talking About
LSU and Alabama will face off for the national championship on Jan. 9, but these two teams have already played and we gathered a lot of information from that game.
Everyone is trying to figure out how the Tide can rebound and beat the Tigers, but here are three matchups that no one is talking about that were pivotal in deciding the outcome of their first meeting.
Rueben Randle vs. Dre Kirkpatrick
Randle is far and away the Tigers' best receiver and is arguably the most explosive player on the offense, averaging over 18 yards per catch.
Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson will be keying to him on third down, so it will be up to Alabama’s best cornerback, Dre Kirkpatrick, to stop him.
Kirkpatrick—6’3” 192 pounds—measures up well with the 6’4” Randle and should jam him at the line for most of the game, but Randle will likely get his shots in deep.
The key to this matchup for LSU will be getting Randle open in places where safeties Mark Barron and Robert Lester can’t help in coverage.
In the their first meeting, Randle was held to just two catches for 19 yards.
Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo vs. Trent Richardson
It’s no secret that the Tide like to run the football, so how LSU’s stud pass-rushing defensive ends play the run will be critical.
Last time, Trent Richardson had 169 yards of offense, so you know that will be a point of emphasis for Les Miles during his team’s bowl preparations.
In the first meeting, Montgomery had a huge game with six total tackles, including two sacks, while Mingo was quiet with just two tackles.
We know what the Heisman finalist Richardson brings to the table, and if Mingo doesn’t respond, he could go off for another big game.
Brad Wing vs. Marquis Maze
The Australian punting sensation Brad Wing has been one of LSU’s best weapons this season because the Tigers rely so much on field position to win games.
Marquis Maze has a punt return for a touchdown this year, and he is one of the best return men Wing has faced all season.
LSU has allowed only six punt return yards all season, but with both defenses playing so well, a big punt return could break the game open.
Wing booted one 73 yards in the fourth quarter and twice pinned the Tide inside their own five. That can’t happen again if Alabama wants to win.