The bye week is over and for the Alabama Crimson Tide the countdown has begun for what may be the toughest game of the season. Alabama has dominated every team they have faced so far this season and now the Tide will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where the LSU Tigers lie in wait. LSU is also coming off their bye week, so both teams are prepared and rested. With Alabama’s perfect season and a chance to win the SEC West title, this game is very important and it is crucial to know your foe.
Know Your Foe: LSU Tigers Edition
This is the 83rd meeting between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers. Alabama holds a big lead in the series having won 52 of the games played. LSU has only won 25 of those meetings and the two have tied five times. Alabama has won the last seven meetings. The last three games that have been played at Tigers Stadium, also known as Death Valley, have been won by Alabama in tightly contested games.
LSU has only one loss on the season which came at the hands of the Florida Gators. The biggest win of the season for LSU was when they knocked off the second ranked Georgia Bulldogs. The Tigers have been very efficient on both sides of the ball this season. Other than the loss to Florida, the only other close game they have played was at Auburn when a last second field goal was required to seal the 22-21 win. Here is a look at the units for the Tigers that Alabama is going to face this Saturday.
The LSU Tigers offense is averaging just over 31 points per game and almost 384 yards per game. That is well shy of Alabama’s averages, but still nothing to be ignored.
Joe Burrow is a 6’3”, 215-pound junior. He transferred to LSU from Ohio State and has completed 53.8% of his passes for 1,544 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.
Nick Brossette is a 6’, 221-pound senior. So far this season he has rushed 151 times for 697 yards and 10 touchdowns. Note: He has an undisclosed injury and it is not known if he will play against Alabama at this time.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a 5’9”, 212-pound sophomore. He has rushed 105 times for 521 yards and five touchdowns. If Brossette is not able to play, Edwards-Helaire will need to be at his very best to give LSU a chance.
Justin Jefferson is a 6’2”, 185-pound sophomore. This season he has 30 receptions for 471 yards and two touchdowns.
Stephen Sullivan is a huge receiver and big playmaker. He is a 6’7”, 232-pound Junior with 15 receptions for 184 yards and one touchdown.
Dee Anderson is a 6’6”, 229-pound junior. He has 15 receptions for 183 yards, but has yet to find the endzone.
Ja’Marr Chase is a 6’1”, 205-pound freshman with 11 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
LSU’s defense hasn’t been spectacular, but it hasn’t been awful either. They are giving up 330 yards per game with that average coming near even from both receiving yards as well as rushing yards. Here are the top play-makers for LSU.
Devin White – 6’1”, 240-pound junior – White is leading the Tigers in tackles with 76 on the season. He also has one sack and three passes defended. White will be suspended for the first half of the game against Alabama due to a controversial targeting penalty in the second half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Jacob Phillips – 6’4”, 229-pound sophomore – So far this season Phillips has 53 tackles, one interception that he returned for a touchdown and two passes defended.
Michael Divinity, Jr. – 6’2, 238-pound junior – He has 34 tackles, four sacks, one interception and one pass defended so far in the 2018 season.
Grant Delpit – 6’3”, 203-pound sophomore – Delpit has 54 tackles this season. He also has four sacks, five interceptions, four passes defended and one forced fumble.
John Battle – 6’2”, 206-pound senior – Battle has 37 tackles, three interceptions and one pass defended.
Wrap Up and Prediction
The LSU Tigers have done very well this season. Other than the upset loss to Florida few weeks ago, the Tigers have been on target with their goal, the SEC Championship in Atlanta. The issue for the Tigers is that the Alabama Crimson Tide want to be in Atlanta in December as well. LSU has shown some great promise to make this a competitive game against the Tide especially with the beatdown that they were able to put on Georgia.
Alabama isn’t going to come out flat though. Head coach Nick Saban will have his team ready the same way that he has for the past 11 years. LSU’s head coach Ed Orgeron, the rest of the coaching staff and the entire team are going to have their work cut out for them against Alabama. So, what can LSU do to beat Alabama? That’s easy. Stop Tua Tagovailoa.
Ok, so that is no easy task. In fact, no one has been able to stop Tagovailoa all season. He has completed 70.4% of his passes for 2,066 yards, 25 touchdowns and zero interceptions. To put that in better perspective, he has thrown the ball 152 times and completed 107 of those passes with no mistakes. There is no question as to why he leads the Heisman Trophy race at this point of the season.
LSU is going to have to leave it all on the field and play a perfect game in order to have a chance to beat the Crimson Tide. One thing that the Tigers have in their favor is the fact that the game is at Death Valley, at night. The atmosphere there can be intimidating, but it will not be for the Tide as they roll 44-21.