Tyrann Mathieu's preparation for Monday night's BCS National Championship has been a little unconventional. In addition to sharpening his on-field skills and watching film of Alabama, he's also spent a little time looking up the names of the mothers of Alabama players.
And he plans to use them in abundance.
Mathieu, aka the Honey Badger, is not only one of the biggest playmakers on the field, he's also one of the biggest mouths and he plans to use that mouth as a trash-talking weapon against unsuspecting Crimson Tide offensive players.
"You try to get the edge any way you got to," Mathieu said. "When you are on the field you're just having fun, you're just talking. If you can get a player out of his zone, you win the battle.
"We are so good on defense, nobody wants to get in a shouting match with me and then line up on the other side of the field with (Morris Claiborne)."
Alabama players aren't exactly thrilled with Mathieu's tactics. Wide receiver Marquis Maze, who is one of the more verbal players on Alabama, said his thoughts about Mathieu will change if he starts bringing family into his trash-talking repertoire.Mathieu and Maze know each other well. The two tangled quite a bit and got into each other's faces during the first meeting between these teams back on Nov. 5.
"I really don't care what he say, he don't know my momma," Maze said. "Whatever he says, he just don't need to say the wrong thing. I have respect for him, but if he says something about anyone in my family, I will have real problems with it."
Alabama receiver Darius Hanks isn't worried about Mathieu or anyone else in the LSU secondary. He said that if LSU devotes its defense to stopping the run, the Tide would have the advantage going over the top.
"I definitely feel like those guys, they can't cover me," Hanks said. "Our tight ends and our receivers will be the difference-makers in this game. They think that if they stop our run game, then they're going to win the game, but I feel differently. We can see a lot of their weaknesses, so we're going to attack those areas, go strong and put the ball in the air this time."
Both defenses will be tested in this game as many believe the offensive impotence that ruled the first meeting won't be a factor in Round 2. As for Mathieu's chattiness, LSU said bring it on.
"It don't matter. if they find out my momma's name, then so be it," said Alabama defensive tackle Josh Chapman. "Trash talk only really affects guys who don't know how to handle it.
"I hope a lot of them know my momma's name because if they're trying to do that much to find out your momma's name then you're doing too much besides learning about some football."
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