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

    Offense looks to rebound after first meeting frustration

    Offense definitely takes a back seat to defense in terms of the 2011 BCS National Championship game. In Alabama’s Nov. 5 meeting against the LSU, the Crimson Tide was frustrated by a stellar Tiger defense, which held the Alabama to only six points.

    Perhaps even more puzzling for the Tide is how LSU shut down the offense once Alabama got into scoring position.

    “That was obviously a frustration for us,” offensive coordinator Jim McElwain said. “And I think that has a lot to do with – not only with what we didn’t do, but obviously what [LSU] did. Like I said, I can’t say enough how much respect we have for them as a defense.”

    For offensive players, the rematch provides an opportunity to make up for mistakes made in the first meeting.

    “They are obviously a great team and they made more plays than we did,” Alabama center William Vlachos said. “When you really look at it, it comes down to our execution and little things that we did do or didn’t do. That is something we have been emphasizing since practice started, just refining the execution.”

    Both teams have had plenty of time since their last meeting to go over game-film and study their opposition. McElwain said the both teams must be on watch for new formations.

    “(LSU) is very talented,” McElwain said. “And knowing each other, you know from a preparation standpoint, I’m sure there will be some new wrinkles because of that.”

    McElwain described the first game as a gladiator-match with both teams being very physical. Due to the way both teams play, the outcome might be decided between battles on the line.

    “I think this is really a unique game just because the first time we played in this game I said it was the most physical game I ever played in,” offensive lineman Barrett Jones said. “I think that’s why it’s such a cool opportunity to get to do it again, just because it’s really not a secret. We know what we’re going to do and what they’re going to do and it comes down to who wins in the trenches.”

    One area the Tide will need to improve on is in the passing game, where LSU’s talented corners have kept offenses at bay this season. Despite his lackluster game against LSU last time out, McElwain feels confident Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron will perform better on Monday. “I’ll tell you what: He competed hard and he’s ready to go” McElwain said. “We’ll see where he is from there.”

    Just like the 2009 national champion team, Alabama comes into the title game with a quarterback in his first year as a starter. Despite lacking experience, McElwain said McCarron has learned a lot in his time at Alabama, especially from watching former Tide quarterback Greg McElroy.

    “I think AJ’s done a good job as an understudy,” McElwain said. “I think one of the great things there that you kind of lose focus on is he had an opportunity to learn from Greg (McElroy) how to prepare.”

    The Alabama offense knows that it will have a huge mountain to climb to conquer the LSU defense, however, the team is confident this time it will produce better results.

    “We’re just really excited to be here,” McElwain said. “I think our guys know that we have given– kind of received a second shot. And we’re excited for that.”

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