Published January 8, 2013 - 10:05am
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Junior bruising running back Eddie Lacy ran through Notre Dame’s front seven like a hot knife slicing through butter; it was like a toddler running through sprinklers on his birthday.
However you would like to describe the draft-eligible running back’s performance, it was epic.
It didn’t equal his 177-yard, three-touchdown performance against Missouri; it certainly wasn’t as good as his 181-yard, two-touchdown performance against Georgia in the SEC Championship game. But Lacy came to play on college football’s biggest stage, and throwing off would-be tacklers in the midst of a spin move was something Bama fans will see when they close their eyes at night.
Lacy rushed 20 times for 140 yards and one touchdown, and he caught two passes for 17 yards and a touchdown, too. He averaged seven yards per carry against one of the stingiest run defenses in all of college football, and he ran through tackles every play that involved the nation’s best linebacker and Heisman runner up Manti Te’o.
Lacy had only notched one 100-yard performance before the week seven outburst against Missouri following the bye week. When the Bama running game wasn’t on track, he put it back on track with his 177-yard performance on the road against the Tigers. You could see him getting stronger as the year progressed, and his last two games against Georgia and Notre Dame showed just how much he had improved and just how good he could really be.
Te’o lost a lot of money against the Tide last night, missing several tacklers in space and looking slow against SEC speed, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, Lacy made himself some money and improved his draft stock.
The junior has some decisions to make moving forward, but by all accounts, he’s ready to take his game to the next level. He’s physically, mentally and athletically ready for the jump. Lacy’s even fresher from sharing handoffs his entire career with Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and now TJ Yeldon.
While Lacy isn’t Ingram or Richardson, and maybe not as talented as either, he’s been a huge part of back-to-back national championships, and we have seen his game improve throughout his career – one that could end on a massive high note.
Lacy will decide in the coming days whether or not he will make the jump to the NFL.
Photo Credit: Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports