Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tide ready for two-headed attack


Alabama is coming off of a bye week, which gives the players ample time to rest and prepare for their next opponent. Bye weeks give teams a crucial advantage because they allow teams to focus an extra week on the next team’s game style. However, in preparation for Saturday’s game against LSU, the Tide will not only be focusing on one team but also on two different quarterbacks.

“I think in this case there is a significance in the style of the quarterbacks,” head coach Nick Saban said. “It does make a bit of a difference.”

Though the Tide has faced other quarterback tandems in the past, the combination of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson might be the most dramatically different pair the Tide has seen.

On one hand, LSU possesses a running quarterback in Jefferson, who can scramble and run option plays.

“They have used him this year as more of a running-type quarterback,” Saban said. “He is very capable of throwing the ball—he has a strong arm—but he has made more plays with his feet.”

On the other hand is Jarrett Lee, who is an accurate passer, but is not as mobile in the pocket.

“Jarrett is more of a passer,” Saban said. “He is probably the classic drop-back style quarterback; he gets rid of the ball quick and gets it to the right guy.”

So how does the Tide prepare for two vastly different attacks? Junior linebacker Dont’a Hightower said that the key to success is making each quarterback play at the opposite style they are used to.

“Jordan Jefferson, he’s a real good runner, you want to try to keep him in the pocket and try to make him beat us with his arm,” Hightower said. “He has trouble sometimes hitting a wide open receiver. We want to take that and use it to our advantage. The other quarterback [Lee] is not very mobile, but he has a great arm.

“We want to get him out of the pocket and get him more uncomfortable,” Hightower added.

Though the Tide is prepared for both quarterbacks, junior defensive lineman Marcell Dareus said he prefers a quarterback whose head he can get inside.

“I like the antsy quarterbacks,” Dareus said. “I like the ones who like to go out there and move a little bit. You can rattle their cage.”

Running quarterbacks often lack the passing skills of pocket passers, Dareus said.

“The ones that can move a little bit can’t throw the ball as good, to me,” he said. “I’m not taking anything from [Jefferson]. He’s good. He makes plays downfield, throws the ball pretty well, he does his thing, but me personally, I’d like to play against quarterbacks who like to run the ball.”

Another thing the Tide must prepare for is LSU head coach Les Miles, who is commonly referred to as “The Mad Hatter” for his risky gambles he takes on the field.

“When you look at Miles, he’s a gambler,” Hightower said. “It can be third and seven and he will call a shuffle pass. You just got to be prepared for both ways around.”

Hightower said that no matter who they are up against, the key to success will be how well the team keeps its focus on Saturday.

“You just got to play assignment football,” he said. “You’ve got to have mental focus and know what your job and assignment is.”

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