Since we mentioned Tavon Austin versus Tyrann Mathieu as a matchup to watch in this week's game between the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals, I thought it was definitely worth looking back at the last time these two players squared off.
LSU stomped a hole in West Virginia on Sep. 24, 2011. The Tigers won 47-21, but it was a productive outing for Austin as well as his college and pro teammate, Stedman Bailey.
Austin caught 11 passes for 187 yards in that game. Bailey caught eight balls for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Here are Austin's highlights against LSU, a lowlight or two. He's No. 1 in the yellow unis. Mathieu is No. 7 in the white. You can see Austin's speed get the better of the Honey Badger on more than one of these plays. Mathieu whiffs on tackle at about the 1:50 mark in the video and on the next play.
But it's less an indictment of Mathieu's skills than it is a showcase of why Austin is such a nightmare for defenses to deal with. Look at that quickness. He's almost impossible to tackle. And this is the No. 1 team in the country that season (until they lost to Alabama in the national championship ... Roll Tide).
Something else to note is how Holgo is using Austin. There's nothing fancy here. You're not seeing gimmicks and gadget plays. There's a beautiful end around at about 2:50 in the video, but you still see an awful lot of Austin lined up at one of the three receiver spots, running routes and using his speed and agility to beat defenders.
You also see some pistol formations here, which is something I won't be at all surprised to see the Rams trot out this year ... at least I hope so. It doesn't mean the QB has to run, it's just a natural way of disguising a play and confusing a defense further, at it essence.
Anyway, hit play and enjoy.