Lacy Does Well Despite Toe Injury

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost...and so on, until the kingdom was lost for want of a nail. Things haven't progressed that badly for Alabama football, but a nagging injury – turf toe – has limited the effectiveness of Alabama's alternate tailback.

Alabama has another powerhouse college football team this year, ranked third in the nation with a 9-1 record. The Crimson Tide defense justifiably gets most of the credit. After all, Bama ranks first in the nation in all major defensive categories – scoring, rushing, passing, and total.

But Bama hasn't done too badly on the offensive side, either, and particularly in running the football. Trent Richardson has thrust himself into the Heisman Trophy picture in grteat part because of his running. He leads the Southeastern Conference and is seventh in the nation with 1,205 yards. That has helped Bama to first in the SEC and 17th in the nation in rushing offense.

And it could have been better except that against Arkansas, Tide tailback Eddie Lacy suffered a turf toe injury. The sprain of the big toe is tough on a running back, Lacy said, "a nagging injury. Your big toe is very valuable, especially as a runner. It's hard to put pressure on it. It's not a painful injury; it's just nagging. You need your big toe to run on. I'm a heavy guy (6-0, 220). That's where you put all your pressure at so it's a hard injury."

Nevertheless, Lacy, a sophomore from Geismar, La., has done well in Coach Nick Saban's system of using multiple tailbacks to pound away at the opposition. He has played in nine of Bama's 10 games and has 74 rushes for 580 net yards, a fine 7.8 yards per carry average that is best among the SEC's top 10 rushers, with seven touchdowns. He averages 64.4 yards per game, which ranks seventh in the conference.

Lacy has extra duty each week in the training room. He goes for treatment early in the mornings before heading off to classes. After classes he is back in the training room before his meeting. Sometimes after practice there is more treatment.

"Just to get ready for the weekend," Lacy said.

He is also limited in practice, Saban said. Lacy said he goes through certain drills "just to brush up and make sure I'm ready for everything on the weekend."

This weekend Alabama is hosting Georgia Southern at 1 p.m. CST Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Lacy takes everything in good spirits. He is one of the most pleasant of Tide players off the field, an always smiling guy.

Lacy will have a lot of tape on his right foot again Saturday. In fact, he has so much tape on his foot for practices and games that he wears his normal 13 size football shoe on his left foot, but wears a 14 on the right.

Lacy said this week that he is feeling better, and that he felt good against Mississippi State in Starkville last weekend as the Tide ground out a 24-7 win over the Bulldogs. Lacy ran 11 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns, including a 32-yard dash as Bama was running out the clock.

Lacy has earned a bit of fame for his ability to spin out of tackles, so much so that he earned the nickname "Spin Button" from his teammates, signifying a feature of a video football game that enables the runner to escape. Lacy does it for real with great effectiveness, and had a spin, followed by a hurdle over a defender, against Mississippi State.

"That just happened," Lacy said. "That wasn't planned at all."

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