'Honey Badger' Tyrann Mathieu Kept At Bay By Alabama So Far

Star LSU Tigers cornerback Tyrann Mathieu -- whose nickname Brent Musburger can't quite get enough of -- has made his presence known in ways far more subtle than we're used to, so far at least. The Alabama Crimson Tide has been hesitant to punt his way, sending their only kick out of bounds instead of his way.

SI.com: Live LSU-Alabama box score

Mathieu has four touchdowns on the year, coming by all manner of return type.

He does have a tipped pass and made a great tackle on Eddie Lacy that prevented what would've been a first down deep in LSU's turf. Leading the team in tackles on the year is rare for a cornerback, but he's shown he's far from a liability in run coverage.

Now that Alabama has a two-score lead, look for him to get more aggressive in seeking out the ball -- he's already the school's all-time fumbles-forced leader, and he's only a sophomore.

Against both Arkansas and Georgia, it was a Mathieu kick return that sparked LSU out of early slumps and into lengthy second half rolls. LSU fans should hope for a stop on the opening drive and a daring punt by Bama, I'd presume.

For more on the 2012 BCS National Championship Game, visit LSU blog And the Valley Shook, Alabama blog Roll Bama Roll and SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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