Crimson Tide prepares for 2011 senior nightBy Laura Owens | 11/15/2011 11:09pm
As the fourth quarter was winding down Saturday in Starkville, Miss., Alabama led by 10 points, but Mississippi State had enough time to come back. What stood in their way were the Alabama running backs.
On the Crimson Tide’s last drive of the game, junior Trent Richardson took nine straight snaps, running for 43 yards, and sophomore Eddie Lacy polished off the drive with two runs, including a 32-yard touchdown, sealing the game at 24-7.
Similar to the South Carolina game in 2009 when the Tide desperately needed a score and had Mark Ingram in the wildcat formation, Richardson took some of those snaps directly, plowing into the defense.
“[The wildcat]’s really fun because I really get to pick my holes, and I get to run the offense at that time,” Richardson said. “When AJ [McCarron] is out there at receiver, I tell him go line up right now, I’m running the offense. I just have fun with it.”
Senior center William Vlachos said the offense hasn’t run the wildcat too much this year, but it was effective in that game in killing the clock and getting first downs.
“It’s always fun as an offensive lineman when the defense knows you’re running it, everybody knows that we’re running it with our Heisman trophy candidate at tailback,” he said. “There were some well-blocked plays on that drive, and there were also some great moves by running backs.”
While all the Heisman hype continues to follow Richardson around, Lacy said he’s got a level head about it.
“He’s not cocky,” Lacy said. “He doesn’t think just because he’s ‘the guy,’ he’s over everybody.”
For the game, Richardson rushed for 127 yards with one touchdown and had 26 yards receiving, while Lacy ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
Lacy, who was injured during the Arkansas game with turf toe on his right foot, said he’s been feeling a lot better. Turf toe is an injury to the big toe, and Lacy said it’s not painful so much as nagging.
"It’s frustrating to not be able to play because you work to play on the weekends, but you get a nagging injury,” Lacy said. “It’s frustrating, but I just deal with it and go out and do what I can.”
He gets treatment for it multiple times a day, in the mornings and after class. At practice, he’s limited and has his right leg wrapped from his foot to his knee. He’s also been wearing two different size shoes: size 13 on his left and 14 on his right. Lacy said he goes in during certain periods to brush up and make sure he’s ready for the weekend.
Richardson said Lacy is back to normal in terms of his ability to run.
“More importantly, he’s back out there practicing so I don’t have to take so many reps,” he said. “He’s out there helping me catch my wind. He’s doing pretty good.”