Lacy Getting Ready To Meet Penn State

Ordinarily, Alabama sophomore tailback Eddie Lacy is very nimble. His teammates talk about the spin moves that earned him the nickname "Circle Butt." In last week's win over Kent State he had one run with two spins. But what Lacy took from the game didn't come from a spin move. It came from a face plant.

"It was just before halftime," Alabama tailback Eddie Lacy said. "We ran a draw play. I was stumbling, and right before I hit the ground a defensive lineman ran right into my back. My helmet kind of fell forward and busted my eye open."

That was good for eight stitches.

But Lacy hurt Kent State, too. He had eight rushes for 58 yards, a 7.2 yards per carry average, with a touchdown. He also had three pass receptions for 76 yards, including a 48-yard catch-and-run that was the longest pass play of the game. Along with offensive lineman Barrett Jones, Lacy was selected by the Alabama coaching staff as an offensive player of the week.

Alabama defeated Kent State, 48-7, in the season-opener at Bryant-Denny Stadium last week. This week the competition gets stiffer as Bama heads to Penn State, where as many as 108,000 could crowd into Beaver Stadium to see the third-ranked Crimson Tide take on No. 23 Penn State. This is the only game of the week matching ranked teams. Kickoff will be at 3:30 p.m. EDT (2:30 central time) with television coverage by ABC.

Lacy, 6-0, 220, said he thought the running backs "did all right for the first game, actually being live bullets."

He said he didn't expect an all right game to draw praise from the coaches. "They said we have to do better," he said. "You never do good in football. You can always do better. that's what we live by."

The sophomore from Geismar, La., has a pleasant laugh and used it when asked about his spin moves, including two on one run against Kent State. "I don't know how it happened like that," he said. "But it looked good." He admitted that he planned the first one. "The second one just happened," he added.

Preparing for Penn State is serious business. He said the running backs are watching tape from last year's Tide victory (24-3) over the Lions. Trent Richardson, who started at tailback last year in place of Mark Ingram and who will start Saturday, had a big game against Penn State in 2010, rushing 22 times for 144 yards and a touchdown and catching four passes for 46 yards.

Lacy said Alabama expects Penn State defenders to be better tacklers than they were in Tuscaloosa last year. He said the Lions looked much better in their 41-7 win over Indiana State to start this season.

" I e x p e c t t h e m t o b e r e a d y .," Lacy said. " W e h a v e t o b e r e a d y a s w e l l ."

Although the veteran Alabama offensive line has come in for some criticism after the first game, Lacy has high regard for the up-front guys.

"They were hard," Lacy said of his offensive line. "They have to know a lot. They just need to get in the film room and study more and they are going to be good. This was their first test. They can only get better."

Lacy knows that Penn State is likely to have eight men "in the box," crowding the line of scrimmage and hoping to force Alabama into a passing game.

"The coaches have the game plan," Lacy said. "We're still going to run the ball. You can't stop us from running. But [quarterbacks A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims] will be able to make the big plays downfield to take them out of the box."

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