New Grantland: Alabama’s Run Game — Simple and Deadly, But Is It Good Enough to Beat LSU?

It’s up over at Grantland:

That said, we should never count out Nick Saban. Alabama’s defense is arguably even better than LSU’s based on statistics (though I favor LSU owing to stronger competition and general fearsomeness). Alabama also boasts perhaps the best player on either team: running back and Heisman finalist Trent Richardson. Perhaps more than any other player in the country, Richardson has the ability to personally shred defenses, even those geared to stop him.

But can Alabama get Richardson loose? In the first matchup (or hadn’t you heard that this game was a rematch?), Richardson led the Crimson Tide in rushing and receiving but never really got free. Because we know what we will get from Richardson — primarily, if you’re an LSU defender, a face full of the kneepad-covered pistons he calls legs — Alabama’s success on offense Monday night will depend on offensive coordinator Jim McElwain and tight end Brad Smelley.

Read the whole thing.

  • whereiend

    Alabama’s offense reminds me a lot of Boise, only with Trent Richardson, elite talents on the O-line, and no Kellen Moore.

  • Hemlock

    Regardless of outcome tonight, after one half, I think my previous comments about LSU’s offense, especially when juxtaposed to ‘Bama’s, have been proven out to a greater or lesser extent.  McCarron plays with confidence and focus; the result of good coaching and concise scheme that defined and articulated; Jefferson…the less said the better; his performance reflects a lack schematic clarity; he does nothing well; when he does do something that yields a positive outcome it may be chalked up to luck and accident most of the time.  Welcome to the grab-bag, whirlin dirvish offense of LSU.  As a high school coach I would consider it a disservice to my kid, especially if he was a QB, to not council about the disaster that is the LSU offense and how he would be ill served as a player from developmental point of view by playing there.

  • Tchandler2

    Haha eat it “Smart” football.  Where is the article praising the bama O especially our use of Smash routes and TE’s tonight.  I expect that article sometime in the next few days.

  • Aaron B.

    If you read this article, you’d know that Chris predicted that Bama’s tight ends (particularly Smelley) would have an impact in this game. Also, Chris has written a lot about the smash concept over the years, and it’s not like Bama runs it in a unique way.