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November 2, 2012

Players to Watch: LSU

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE

AJ McCarron
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-4 Weight: 210 Class: Junior
Key Stat: McCarron has completed 69 percent of his passes for 1,684 yards with 18 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Buzz: McCarron keeps climbing the charts as a Heisman Trophy hopeful, and this is the game where he can make his mark. He carved up LSU last season in the Bowl Championship Series national title game to win Most Valuable Offensive Player honors, so this stage isn't new to him. A big game against LSU's ferocious defense would cement him as a contender.

Vinnie Sunseri
Position: Safety
Height: 6-0 Weight: 215 Class: Sophomore
Key Stat: Sunseri has made 36 tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage, while also intercepting two passes and breaking up three. He has also recovered a pair of fumbles.
Buzz: Sunseri has tremendous instincts and has a knack for finding himself in the right place most of the time. He makes things happen in pass defense but is especially effective as a pass rusher on blitzes, not to mention in run suport. One or two big plays could determine this contest, and Sunseri makes plays.

Christion Jones
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 5-11 Weight: 185 Class: Sophomore
Key Stat: Jones has caught 13 passes for 194 yards with three touchdowns.
Buzz: While Amari Cooper, Kevin Norwood and Kenny Bell seem to attract more attention, Jones is a steady force for this Alabama offense and finds ways to move the chains. Jones is a go-to target for AJ McCarron and seems to catch most everything thrown his way. His timing on out patterns gives UA a dependable play against any defense, even one as good as LSU's, and Jones doesn't seem to have any fear factor.



LSU Tigers

Zach Mettenberger
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-5 Weight: 230 Class: Junior
Key Stat: Mettenberger has completed 56.6 percent of his pass attempts for 1,667 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions.
Buzz: LSU fans figured they were upgrading with Mettenberger replacing last year's duo of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. So far, he's been up and down. Mettenberger has the big arm, but so far hasn't seemed to have adjusted to the speed of the game in the SEC. This game will be played faster than most.

Barkevious Mingo
Position: Defensive end
Height: 6-5 Weight: 240 Class: Junior
Key Stat: Mingo has made only 23 tackles this season, but four have been behind the line of scrimmage. The most startling statistic for Mingo is his nine quarterback hurries, which attest to his skill in rushing the passer.
Buzz: Alabama will need to be able to contain Mingo and his defensive line mate, Sam Montgomery, who are a two-man wrecking crew. If Alabama can move these two monsters and create running lanes, things will go much easier for the Crimson Tide. If not, it could be a long game.

Eric Reid
Position: Defensive back
Height: 6-2 Weight: 212 Class: Junior
Key Stat: Reid has made 50 tackles with two interceptions and four pass break-ups for LSU this season.
Buzz: Reid may have had the biggest game of any LSU player in last year's regular-season victory over Alabama. He was able to strip the ball from UA tight end Michael Williams on a play that pretty much decided the game, but he was all over the field in Tuscaloosa that night. Alabama's passing game will have to account for Reid, who is able to make sneaky plays.




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