Quantcast

Lacy puts his spin on game

Published January 8, 2013 12:04 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Miami Gardens, Fla. • Eddie Lacy romped through Notre Dame's defense with power and his favorite spin move.

No. 2 Alabama's latest star tailback rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown and scored with a spin move on a catch in Monday night's 42-14 rout over No. 1 Notre Dame in the BCS championship.

If the game ends up being the junior's finale at Alabama, it was a doozy. He was slowed early in the season with a nagging ankle injury but finished with three straight 100-yard games, a 99-yarder and 10 touchdowns in the final four games.

Named the game's outstanding player on offense, Lacy had 72 yards before the first quarter ended — against a defense that came in allowing a stingy 92 yards a game on the ground. He capped the opening drive with a 20-yard touchdown and had nine touches on the first two possessions, both ending with touchdowns.

It was impressive against a sturdy front seven led by All-America linebacker Manti Te'o.

"I was surprised but the offensive line came out and opened up big holes," Lacy said, clutching the crystal trophy on the field.

He spun into the end zone at the end of an 11-yard catch with 31 seconds left in the second quarter to make it 28-0. It's a move that typically buys him extra yardage, and one that he jokes with teammates is trademarked and requires a fee when they try to duplicate it.

"Lacy made us miss," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.

He's just the latest Bama tailback to shine in the big one, even if he came in with less acclaim than his predecessors. The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and last season's finalist, Trent Richardson, both topped 100 yards against Texas and another stout run defense in Pasadena, Calif., three years ago.

Both went on to become first-round NFL draft picks. Lacy isn't projected quite that high, but he definitely didn't hurt his case if he decides to turn pro.

Lacy finished the year with 17 rushing touchdowns and 1,322 yards, while sharing headlines and carries with talented freshman T.J. Yeldon, who ran for 108 yards and a touchdown on the night also topped 1,000 yards for the season.

Lacy was at his best late in Alabama's title run.

He rushed for 131 yards against Auburn, 181 in the Southeastern Conference championship game versus Georgia and 99 yards against Western Kentucky before that streak. He scored 10 touchdowns during that four-game stretch.

Lacy mostly grinned and shrugged off questions about not being fully healthy or in game shape early in the season, but admitted a couple of weeks ago that "it can break you down as a competitor ... because you're thinking about what I used to be able to do."