Key Matchups: Rueben Randle vs. DeQuan MenzieBy Tony Tsoukalas | 01/07/2012 5:30pm
Although the LSU is seen as primarily a running oriented offense, there is no bigger weapon for the Tigers than wide receiver Rueben Randle. The 6-foot-4 junior has caught 50 passes for 904 yards and eight touchdowns this season, and is one of the best receivers in the nation. The match up between Randle and Alabama cornerback DeQuan Menzie will be an important battle for both teams.
In order for Alabama to have a chance in Monday’s title game, the Crimson Tide must find a way to limit Randle production. When Alabama and LSU faced off Nov. 5, the Tide put Menzie on him plenty of times to lock him down.
“He’s one of the best I’ve faced this season, especially as an opponent,” Randle said “Him and Dre Kirkpatrick are great defensive backs and really did a great job last game.”
One thing Randle said was challenging when facing Menzie is his size. Menzie, who measures in at 6-foot-1 198 pounds, is one of the tougher corners in college football.
“He’s a big physical corner,” Randle said. “You have got to do a good job using your technique and just use your speed to get by him. He’s a great defensive back. He’s one of the best I’ve ever faced throughout the season.”
During the last meeting, Randle was held to only two catches for 19 yards. However, the standout wide receiver is not discouraged and feels like he will have a better game this time out.
“I think they did a good job scheme wise,” Randle said “This time we need to do a better job game planning for them.”
Despite his success on Randle during their last meeting, Menzie does not take Randle lightly. The talented cornerback said that Randle is one of the more challenging receivers to cover.
“The way he comes out of his routes, the way he runs them, you don’t think he’s going to come off the ball the way does,” Menzie said “When he gets going he’s a real good player.”
The contest between the two talented players will certainly be worth keeping tabs on in the title game. Each team will count on its player to come up with a big play to shut down the competition.
Either way Menzie said he enjoyed battling Randle last time out and can’t wait for another shot.
“It went great,” Menzie said “Physical against physical.”