On Saturday while the LSU team is led by their prolific offense there’s a familiar foe on the defense of LSU that will scare the Alabama Football team. Harold Perkins was a game wrecker last season in the matchup against Alabama Football recording eight tackles, a sack, a pass breakup, and three QB hurries. Perkins’ performance against the Alabama Football team earned him the honor of SEC Defensive Player of the Week in 2022. The Sophomore Linebacker has been just as impressive in his sophomore year as he was last season leading LSU with three sacks adding two forced fumbles, an interception, and 39 tackles. In his Wednesday press conference, Nick Saban was asked what the Alabama Football team was doing to prepare for Perkins and what impressed him, and he had this to say:
"He makes plays all over the place this guy is a really good athlete, a really good player very explosive sometimes they play him out in the Apex he’s a great blitzer, he can play star, and rear out people, and make plays in the passing game sometimes he plays in the box sometimes he plays on the edge he’s got great first step quickness he’s a good pass rusher that’s why he has so many tackles for a loss and sacks I think this guy is one of the most dynamic players in our leagueI don’t think you could simulate it you know players have to watch the film, if we had somebody like him, they’d be playing they wouldn’t be on the scout team."
Alabama Football: Finding a way to limit Perkins.
A player like Harold Perkins will always make plays no matter how much you game plan for him and try to counter what he does best. The challenge for Tommy Rees is finding ways to limit the damage Perkins can cause against the offense. The difficult part of trying to take away Perkins is losing potential threats in the passing game. The use of running backs and tight ends in the passing game is certainly something Alabama Football should increase with the struggles in the short and intermediate passing game.
However, taking away Perkins leads to losing the threat of CJ Dippre or Jase McClellan in the passing game. The most impactful way to limit a player with the ability of Perkins is using a tight end to double-team him or using a running back to chip him or stay back in pass protection. Losing the threat of a tight end could be an issue for this Alabama Football team on offense. CJ Dippre is averaging 19.8 yards per reception while Amari Niblack is averaging 18.2 yards per catch. This game will be the most important game for Kadyn Proctor and at times JC Latham.
The LSU team will likely choose to have Perkins rush the most from the left side against Proctor as he’s struggled in pass protection at times this season. However, the news of JC Latham wearing a walking boot this week might result in LSU rushing Perkins more often against Latham than originally expected. The success of this offense this week will likely land on how well the guys up front protect Jalen Milroe. The LSU defense will be without three of its main cornerbacks as well as defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo. If Milroe has enough time to let the wide receivers run their routes the Alabama offense will have massive success against some of LSU’s inexperienced cornerbacks.
Note: All Stats Via ESPN.