Lacy Works Hard To Avoid Fumbles

Although regular season play just reached the quarter mark, three games in it has been noticed that Alabama is doing quite well in turnover margin. Bama has not has a pass intercepted and has lost only one fumble (among a mere three total fumbles). Meanwhile, opponents have lost the ball six times each on interceptions and lost fumbles.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban has pointed out the links the Tide goes to in practice for the defense to cause fumbles and for the offense to avoid them. That serious practice work seems to be paying dividends.

But just because it's serious doesn't mean it can't be fun.

Obviously, there is a competition among offensive and defensive players in Crimson Tide practices. Linebacker C.J. Mosley said Monday that it is tough to get the ball away from Alabama offensive players because they are taught to carry it high and tight.

Tide tailback Eddie Lacy has been the only Alabama player to lose a fumble this year, and it was as harmless as a lost fumble can be. It came on the final play of the first half in the 41-14 romp over Michigan in the season opening game.

Lacy didn't have any fumbles last week. The junior ran for three touchdowns in a 52-0 win for No. 1 ranked Alabama over Arkansas in Fayetteville to improve the Crimson Tide record to 3-0.

Lacy looked the best he has looked this season as he has recovered from surgery to repair a turf toe in the off-season and sprained ankle and knee in pre-season practice.

This Saturday Lacy and mates will host Florida Atlantic in Bryant-Denny Stadium with kickoff at 4 p.m. CDT.

Lacy said, "I really don't know," when asked how often he has fumbled in practice. But there is something he does know.

"But whenever we do fumble, we really don't like to go back to the coaches," he said. "I know that. Let's just say we hear a lot of things we don't want to hear after fumbling the ball."

Lacy said the key to not fumbling is "just being aware, staying aware. The defense at practice, they are going to try to take the ball whenever they can, even if it's after the play and you're going back to the huddle. They're going to try to take it, so just being aware and holding it."

Lacy doesn't know the technical reason that holding the ball high is the best way to secure it. "Coaches' rules," he said. "That's what they preach, so we follow the rules."

Alabama Strength and Conditioning Coach is an extra defender in the Tide's efforts to be fumble-free.

"He gets you right when you least expect it," Lacy said. "We watch out for him, but then you'll kind of forget about him and then he just pops up and hits the ball out.

"It's fun for him."

Lacy said that safety Robert Lester is the sneakiest of a sneaky bunch of defenders. "He'll wait for you to turn around and jog back to the huddle and then come up behind you and knock it out."

It was suggested that such a tactic doesn't seem fair.

"It's not fair," Lacy said. "But our coaches don't care about fair. They just care about the ball."

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