|Peterson vs Jones = Classic|
Photo via al.com
I just can't freaking wait.
Patrick Peterson versus Julio Jones.
Russell Shepard said these are two of the best players in the SEC.
The matchup between these talented juniors is what I live for, especially me being a fan of the National Football League. I say this because it will probably be the last time these guys will face each other on Saturdays.
Peterson has nothing to hide regarding the matchup between the two.
"I'm going to be amped up. Julio versus Peterson, Round 3," Peterson said with a big grin on his face.
Before we get into the X's and O's, lets dig into the numbers and past experiences between the two.
Freshmen Year (2008) -- Alabama 27 - LSU 21
Julio Jones: 7 catches for 128 yards
Patrick Peterson: 4 tackles, 1 Interception
This game solidified Jones and Peterson has both elite draft prospects down the road.
Jones made catches you don't normally see freshman make. Quarterback John Parker Wilson made the easy throws to No. 8 as he dragged LSU tacklers across the field. Never had I ever seen a continuously needed to be ganged tackled after the caught the football, much less a true freshman. Here is a great example...
Peterson was Jones equal on the other side of the football. Wilson made a bonehead decision to throw the direction of Peterson when it the pass was targeted for Jones. Peterson made an amazing interception that sent Tiger Stadium into a frenzy.
Play of the Game: It was in overtime and LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee threw an interception to Rashad Johnson on LSU's first possession. On Alabama's first possession, Wilson went to the direction of Jones on first down.
Peterson was defending Jones in man-to-man coverage on the pass that was put on the money perfectly inside the LSU 5-yard line. Because of Jones' large frame, Peterson couldn't come across in time to bat the ball away despite perfect coverage.
The most impressive part of the play was the tackle. The powerful Jones had the football in his hands heading into the endzone, but Peterson dragged the Crimson Tide mammoth to the ground on the 1-yard line. Wilson would later score on a sneak to win the game for the Tide.
Sophomore Year (2009) -- Alabama 24 - LSU 15
Julio Jones: 4 catches for 102 yards and 1 touchdown
Patrick Peterson: 3 tackles and 3 pass breakups
Early in the game, Peterson was controlling the game on defense. Jones struggled to get separation from Peterson, but Jones was still able to rake in some short yardage catches. Other Alabama receivers, such as Marquis Maze, made big catches for the Crimson Tide.
Play of the Game: Well, there were actually two. And these two plays could have been the two biggest for both teams in their season.
1) Peterson is well known for his issues with cramps. Against Alabama, he suffered one that LSU fans would like to forget.
When Peterson exited the game, safety Brandon Taylor filled in at his position at cornerback. Once Alabama saw the favorable matchup, quarterback Greg McElroy made a quick throw out to Jones. Then, "Super Julio" took care of the rest...
This 73 yard touchdown gave Alabama the 21-15 lead. The Crimson Tide wouldn't look back after that score.
2) Maybe the most controversial call of many in SEC Football last season. In the fourth quarter, Alabama was on another powerful drive. McElroy rolled our right, then apparently threw an interception to Peterson.
I was standing on the field on that play. My angle wasn't the best, but it was clear to me he had both feet in bounds. The ball was called incomplete even after booth review. Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples wrote an excellent recap on the fiasco. Here is the video...
As we have seen over the last two years, Peterson versus Jones has rich history. Later this week on HKT, we will have video from Taylor and Morris Claiborne on Jones and a more in depth look of the actual matchup on Saturday.