Since Nick Saban’s arrival in Tuscaloosa, the series between Alabama and LSU has continued to become one of the biggest matchups of the year. This year, No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Alabama are facing off for the SEC West Title which will send them to the SEC Championship game, as well as the chance to play in the College Football Playoff.
What does LSU have to do to win?
Offensively, LSU will have to rely on Joe Burrow to have big drives downfield. With wide receiver Juston Jefferson who has over 800 yards receiving and 9 TDs as well as Ja’Marr Chase in who also has 9 TDs and 749 yards receiving, those two guys will have to make big plays offensively for the Tigers if they want a chance to beat Alabama, a feat the Tigers haven’t done since 2011. Also, the Tigers running game will need to be executed from the get go. Clyde Edwards-Helaire who has become the top RB for the Tigers has 693 yards rushing with 8 TDs. If the Tigers can start the game strong and find a consistent way to move the ball downfield, the Tigers have a chance to put up some impressive numbers on the Crimson Tide.
Defensively, the Tigers HAVE to shut down Alabama’s running game if they want any chance of winning this game. If they make Alabama rely on their passing game with a not “100%” Tagovaolia, it could cause Alabama to cause turnovers which LSU could score off of.
What does Alabama have to do to win?
Alabama HAS to be smart. Offensively, Alabama needs to settle into a running game early to exhaust the Tigers’ defensive line, and create the opportunity for big plays downfield. The past few games, Alabama has improved in the running game relying on Najee Harris and Brian Robinson Jr. You can expect to see both Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones make big plays downfield, but I think a lot of the passes will be short slant and screen passes just to move the ball.
Defensively, Alabama’s defense will have to step up like in weeks past. If the Alabama secondary can cover the Tigers’ wide receivers well and cause Burrow to scramble, this could be a big momentum shift for the Tide. Also, if the Crimson Tide’s defensive line can also put pressure on Burrow, this game could go a lot better for Alabama than people think it will.
Who do I think will win this game?
Alabama. Although Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers are one of the strongest LSU teams we’ve seen in years, I think Alabama’s defense will make big plays and stop Burrow from being consistent and accurate downfield. Alabama has so much talent and depth in the wide receiver unit that regardless of who is in at quarterback for the Tide, the chance for big plays is always there. This will be a close game, but Alabama comes out on top.
Score prediction: Alabama 38, LSU 31