Chapman Has Plan For LSU Offense

Josh Chapman

When is a trick play not a trick play? When the defense does its job, according to a man whose defense may see one or more attempts at so-called trick plays on Saturday.



Alabama will host LSU in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday in a game featuring teams that have not needed trick plays this season. Both teams are 8-0 overall and 5-0 in Southeastern Conference games. The visiting Tigers are ranked first in the nation, while the home-standing Crimson Tide is ranked second. Kickoff Saturday will be at 7 p.m. CDT with television coverage by CBS.

LSU under Coach Les Miles is known for trying to pull a rabbit out of the hat; and more than that, for succeeding. Last year the Tigers used a fourth-down end-around to help defeat Alabama by 24-21 in Baton Rouge. LSU also faked a punt to gain a first down.

One of the Crimson Tide defenders charged with stopping the LSU attack Saturday evening is senior Bama nose tackle Josh Chapman. Chapman, 6-1, 310, said, "Trick plays come from guys not doing their jobs. Once you do your job, it's not a trick play. It's just a play."

Alabama has done an excellent job of stopping all kinds of plays this year. Bama leads the nation in rushing defense (allowing 44.9 yards per game); total defense (allowing 180.5 yards per game), and scoring defense (allowing 6.9 points per game).

Chapman said the key will be "everybody doing his job. Don't worry about doing somebody else's job. Just go out and do your job and communicate. Just go out and dominate the game."

Although it's not a trick, it can be tricky to prepare for a team that uses two quarterbacks, as does LSU. Jarrett Lee, primarily a pocket passer, is expected to start, but Jordan Jefferson, who had big plays in the Tigers' win over Bama last year, is expected to see plenty of action. Jefferson makes plays with his legs as well as his arm.

"They have two great quarterbacks; a runner and a pocket passer," Chapman said. "The thing our giys have to do is keep the edges and keep the guys contained and get pressure on them; try to affect them."

Chapman knows that LSU, much like Alabama, will attempt to establish the running game between the tackles. It is not a challenge that disappoints him. "I love teams that try to come in and run the ball," he said. "Me being a nose guard, stopping the run is one thing I love to do. By doing that, you dominate the line of scrimmage and make the (opposing) guys one-dimensional.

"LSU is a great team. They always have been. They always play hard. They try to run the ball. That is one thing that's stubborn about them. They're going to try to run the ball until you stop it."

LSU's top rusher is Spencer Ware, a 5-11, 233-pound sophomore who has rushed 128 times for 512 yards (4.0 per carry) and six touchdowns. He has a long run of 23 yards. "He's a great running back," Chapman said. "The guy runs hard and he sees the holes."

There are similarities throughout in comparing the Tide and Tigers, but Chapman said, "They're LSU and we're Alabama. One thing here is we try to play to our standards, not LSU's standards. Our standard is going out and dominating.

"Our standard of football here on defense is, first of all, you're going to start by knocking the (offensive line) guys back at the line of scrimmage, which is stop the run. Then when you stop the run, you've got guys that want to throw the ball and that's when we let it all hang out, blitz and go get them.

"We have a mentality that we are going to go out and dominate for 60 minutes and stop the run. We're going to affect the passer.

"They have a great defense. They also have a great offense. We have a great offense and a great defense.

"We live for games like this. You want to go against great teams. Being in the SEC, it's a great match-up. We're ready for it."

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