Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke: A look at Tide wide receivers and running backs
by Deke Bellavia,posted Oct 31 2011 8:43AM
Deke Bellavia reporting - email@example.com
Today we take a look at the Alabama wide receivers and running backs. Both of these units have veteran players, and all of the Tide’s backs and receivers do an excellent job of blocking and keep the ball secure.
The leader of the group is Maquis Maze. Through eight games Maze has thirty-nine receptions for 484 yards, with an average of 12.4 yards per grab. Maze is Alabama’s most versatile player,as he also has 338 yards on punt returns and Maze has returned eight kickoffs for a total of 238 yards for an average of 29.8 yards per return.
Darius Hanks and RB Trent Richardson are second on the team with 18 grabs each. Hanks averages 12.8-yards per reception while Trent Richardson has hauled in 18 grabs for 212 yards this season. Rounding out the Tide WR’s are Kenny Bell and DeAndrew White. Bell has 13 receptions this season for 167-yards and one TD and White has 11 grabs for 130-yards and two TDs. One key number that does not show up in the stat sheet is the way the Tide wide receivers block.
When you look at the game film, you can clearly see that the Alabama’s receivers are some of the best in the nation in run blocking. Many times this season when Trent Richardson and other Alabama backs have gotten outside, it is largely due to the downfield blocking provided by the Tide’s wide receivers which will be very key in their battle with LSU.
Over the course of the 2011 college football season teams have had the most success against the LSU defense when their wide receivers were more physical with the Tigers’ defensive backs. Look for the Tide receivers to try and be more physical against the LSU secondary.
Alabama is 8-0 for many reasons, and some reasons are greater than others. Alabama is perfect behind the strong play of their stout defense and the running of Trent Richardson. Some wondered how Richardson would respond to being the primary ball-carrier for the Tide this season. His physical style of running has earned him 989 yards rushing, 17 touchdowns and a whopping 6.6 yards per carry. #3 is what we today call a beast on the field of play!
Richardson is not just a runner, he’s an excellent blocker. He is second on the Alabama team with eighteen receptions for 212-yards through eight games. But Richardson has not had to do things all by himself, as the Tide have several quality running backs this year. Make no bones about it, Trent is the man…but three other running backs have contributed nicely this season to the Tide backfield.
Former Dutchtown star Eddie Lacy is second on the team with 465-yards rushing. Lacy has five TD’s this season, leading the Tide with an average of eight yards per rushing attempt. Jalston Fowler has been solid, along with Blake Sims, another reserve running back. Fowler has carried the ball forty-seven times for a total of 329 yards, scoring three TD’s for the Tide. Fowler carries the ball an impressive seven-yards per attempt.
Rounding out the Alabama offensive backfield is Blake Sims. Sims has 107 yards on twenty two carries with an average of 4.9 yards per rush. All of these running backs do a solid job of pass protection and have done a good job of securing the football as well.