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2012 BCS Champ. Position Breakdown - STs

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 6, 2012


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

2012 BCS Champ. Breakdown

Alabama vs. LSU - Special Teams

- 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: The Tide kickers are fine from short-to-medium range, but they have a nightmare of a time from deep. Jeremy Shelley hit 16-of-20 kicks, but they were all from inside the 40 with his longest make coming from just 37 yards away. Cade Foster has a bigger leg and is used from beyond 40 yards, but he has only connected on two of his nine attempts from beyond 40 yards and missed all four chances from beyond 50 including shots from 50 and 52 yards against LSU. The two kickers combined to miss four field goals against the Tigers.

The punting game isn't nearly as strong as LSU's but it's hardly a glaring weakness. Cody Mandell only averaged 38.9 yards per kick, but he forced 17 fair catches and put 11 inside the 20. His job is to hang it up high and keep returns to a minimum, and he can do that allowing just ten returns on the year for a mere 50 yards.

Marquis Maze is one of the nation's best all-around return men, averaging 28.5 yards per kickoff return and 12.4 yards per punt return with a score. He's lightning quick and is terrific at making the first man miss, but he has to be able to produce against the swarming LSU coverage teams.

LSU: As good as LSU has been this year on both sides of the ball, the special teams might be the team's best overall unit. There isn't a weakness.

Drew Alleman nailed 16-of-18 field goals on the year with the misses coming from 50 yards out against Northwestern State and from 30 yards away against West Virginia. He doesn't have deep range, but he has connected on ten in a row including all three kicks in the first win over the Tide.

The Tigers are second in the nation in net punting behind Oregon thanks to Brad Wing, who averaged 44.1 yards per kick with 23 put inside the 20. Famous for being nailed with a celebration call on a fake punt for a score against Florida, he deserves notice for being one of the nation's best and most consistent punters.

Corner Morris Claiborne has been one of the nation's best kickoff returners over the last few years, averaging 26.1 yards per try this season, while Tyrann Mathieu has been a gamechanging punt returner – ranking third in the nation - averaging 16.2 yards per return with touchdowns against Arkansas and Georgia in back-to-back weeks.

All of the team's athleticism and speed comes through on the coverage teams, allowing a miniscule 0.4 yards per try while giving up just 19.8 yards per kickoff return.

ADVANTAGE: LSU. Alabama's special teams aren't bad, but they're not the killer that LSU's are – which was part of the reason why the Tide lost the first time around. The LSU kickers are better, the returners are better, and the coverage teams are better.

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












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