The LSU defense faces a great test Saturday evening when they travel to Tuscaloosa, AL to take on the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide led by their senior quarterback AJ McCarron who is one of the great leaders and winners in college football history.
LSU head coach, Les Miles was quick to point out at his press conference Monday the challenge it will be for the Tiger’s defense which enters Saturday’s tilt with the lowest ranked total defense in the Saban-Miles era at 33.
“Their offense with A.J. McCarron averaging 41 points, 460 yards, 210 rushing and 250 yards passing. Again, I think A.J. McCarron is a great, within‑the‑scheme play maker. I think he sees it. He makes all the throws. I think he’s a tremendous leader.”
McCarron has lost two games as a starter in his college career and one was a 9-6 overtime loss to Miles and LSU in the 2011 game in Tuscaloosa. McCarron has won the last two games against Miles including a memorable last-minute comeback in Death Valley last year.
The last time LSU fans saw McCarron he has tears streaming down his face after the emotional comeback, but did Miles take a veiled shot at McCarron with the “within-the-scheme” remark?
McCarron has been labeled a game-manager and had his NFL future questioned by a number of draft experts like Todd McShay who ranks McCarron as the 6th best pro prospect at his position and 56th overall.
You could interpret that comment as a different way of dressing up the term game-manager if you really wanted to (and I’m sure some Alabama fans may), but the main thing is Miles is correct, he is a great leader and that is not up for debate.
He rarely turns the ball over (11 int in 899 attempts), commands the huddle, has the respect of his teammates and the opposition and most important, he wins.
Will LSU be able to rattle him enough Saturday night in his home stadium as they were able to do in 2011 when he was limited to 199 yards on 57.6 percent passing with zero touchdowns and an interception?
If they can, it will be McCarron’s biggest loss in the career of one of the best winners in college football.