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

Tigers trying to trip Richardson up

The No. 1 mission for the LSU defense? Stop Trent Richardson.

Tigers defensive coordinator John Chavis and key LSU defensive players talked Thursday about the importance of shutting down Alabama’s Heisman finalist in Monday’s championship game.

“I don’t know if you can wear down a guy like [Richardson].” Chavis said. “He gets better, and some of the better backs get stronger as the game goes on. And certainly he has those kind of qualities.”

Richardson rushed for 89 yards and had 80 receiving yards in the Nov. 5 matchup between the Tigers and the Crimson Tide. Chavis said his team was not prepared to handle Richardson the first time around.

“To say we did a great job on him, I couldn’t tell you that because I don’t feel like we did,” Chavis said. “But it wasn’t because of the players. I mean, part of that had to do with our preparation, and that was on me.”

The Tigers will most likely stack the box and commit multiple defenders to limiting Richardson on the ground. Because the Tigers have such a talented secondary and defensive line, the team is able to guard against the run without sacrificing much in its pass defense.

“[The defensive linemen] impact the games a lot for us,” LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne said. “We kind of complement for each other on the back end, but all the credit goes to those guys for getting back there, making the quarterbacks do things that he doesn’t want to do with the ball.”

Another advantage the Tigers have is depth in their defensive line. The Tigers have multiple impact players on the line, which allows the team to have fresh defenders on every play.

“I feel it’s a very important aspect, because when you have a good first-team defense and then you get your second-team defense in there, they’re even hungrier to make plays and they’re going out there sacking quarterbacks and getting interceptions,” defensive tackle Michael Brockers said. “I feel like the depth we have, that makes our defense even better than it is.”

The challenge for LSU will not only be containing Richardson and blocking his lanes, but also bringing him down. The 5-foot-11, 224 pound back is known for breaking tackles.

“He’s hard to tackle,” Chavis said. “That’s were he makes his biggest plays… You’ve got to get numbers to the point of attack when he has the football.”

This team’s defense is one of the best the school has ever had, and players know there is only one game separating them from going down as one of the best teams of all time.

Defensive back Tyrann Mathieu knows he and the rest of the defense are going to need to step up if the Tigers are going to lift the BCS National Championship Trophy Monday night.

“Our playmakers, the guys who lead this team,” Mathieu said, “are going to have to step up and play their best football and put our team in the position to win this game.”

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