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2012 BCS Champ. Position Breakdown - RBs
Alabama RB Trent Richardson
Alabama RB Trent Richardson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 5, 2012


As a primer, check out the position-by-position breakdown of the 2012 BCS Championship.

2012 BCS Champ. Breakdown

Alabama vs. LSU - RBs

- CFN 2009 BCS Championship Breakdown - Florida vs. Oklahoma   
- CFN 2010 BCS Championship Breakdown - Alabama vs. Texas
- CFN 2011 BCS Championship Breakdown - Auburn vs. Oregon|

CFN 2012 BCS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION BREAKDOWN
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs
- Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defensive Lines | Linebackers
- Secondaries | Special Teams | Coaches
 
Alabama: It was the easy thing to say over the previous years; Mark Ingram was great, but when given the full-time gig, Trent Richardson would be better. An argument could be made that Richardson had a stronger season than Ingram did in his 2009 Heisman campaign, but Ingram made his mark by coming up with great performances in the biggest games that year. Richardson could use a monster game when the spotlight is on.

The Doak Walker winner ran for 1,583 yards and 20 scores and was terrific as a receiver out of the backfield with 27 catches for 327 yards and three scores, but he was held to 89 yards on 23 carries in the first game against LSU and came up with his biggest games against the softest run defenses. That’s not to say Richardson isn’t a special back – he’ll be the first running back off the board if and when he chooses to enter the NFL draft – but a big game against the Tigers and a national title might cement him as the greatest running back in Alabama history.

At 5-11 and 224 pounds, Richardson is very big, freakishly strong, and lightning fast. With his size and track star speed, the former star from the same Florida high school as Emmitt Smith is ready to be the game’s signature star. This is his moment, and this might be his national championship.

Just like there was a buzz about Richardson when Ingram was doing his thing, now there’s the same type of excitement about Eddie Lacy as the next star-in-waiting. At a strong 6-0 and 220 pounds with tremendous speed, he’s a home run hitter who averaged 7.5 yards per carry and produces every time he touches the ball. Staying healthy has been a problem, and he was held to 19 yards on five carries against LSU, but if the offense is going to break out in the rematch, he has to play a bigger role.

LSU: Alabama led the SEC in rushing, but LSU wasn’t far behind. The Tide might have the stars in the backfield, but the Tigers have the bulk.

After several years of top flight recruiting classes, the cupboards are stocked with tough running back after tough running back. Stevan Ridley departed early for the New England Patriots and the NFL after running for 1,147 yards and 15 scores, but the combination of sophomores Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, and Alfred Blue more than picked up the slack.

The formula was simple: Pound, pound, pound, and pound some more with a rotation to keep everyone fresh. As the games wore on, out would come another good back with fresh legs and high energy; that’s why LSU kept turning tight battles into blowouts.

The 5-11, 223-pouund Ware was the best of the bunch early on and finished with 700 yards and eight scores on 174 carries, however, his role has been diminished a bit since getting suspended for the Auburn game and being stuffed by Alabama. In the first go-round, Ware was held to just 29 yards on 16 carries with no room to run. He’s both powerful and slippery, able to rip off yards in chunks, but against the Tide, his job will be to keep softening up the middle.

The 5-10, 215-pound Ford has been a consistently solid producer in the rotation getting around 12 carries per game. With 72 yards on 11 carries, he was the team’s most effective offense weapon in the win over the Tide, but he won’t be a workhorse.

Also in the mix will be 6-2, 215-pound Alfred Blue, who might be the third man in but he has still been a key part of the rotation with 539 yards and seven scores. He didn’t get any work against the Tide, but he helped close out Georgia and carried the load in wins over Kentucky and Florida.

ADVANTAGE: Alabama. Richardson is the best back on the field, but he has to do more for Alabama than any one back has to do for the Tigers. LSU can focus all its defensive energies on stopping No. 3 and will make keeping him in check Job One, but Alabama has to hold up in a war of attrition. Yes, The Tide will slow down the LSU ground game, but it’s not going to be about stopping Ware early on; it’s going to be about handling a fresh Ford and maybe Blue as the game wears on. It was subtle, but the LSU running game was the difference with 148 yards to Alabama’s 96, however, that’s because LSU has a running quarterback in Jordan Jefferson. However, Richardson made five catches for 80 yards and Lacy, who made a grab for 11 yards, will be more involved in the passing game.

CFN 2012 BCS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION BREAKDOWN
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs
- Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defensive Lines | Linebackers
- Secondaries | Special Teams | Coaches