Alabama-LSU football preview

Alabama-LSU football preview

LSU photoSU hopes to remain undefeated and solidify their #1 ranking with a victory over #2 Alabama this weekend. Photo courtesy of espn.com.

Jacob Pollack

Staff Writer

It’s funny; I thought the BCS National Championship took place in January.

On Saturday, November 5, #1 ranked LSU will take on #2 Alabama in a game that promises to send one team home with its first loss of the season. Both the Tigers and the Crimson Tide will meet on primetime television, putting their undefeated 8-0 records on the line. As we have expected from these two teams at the beginning of the season, the Tide and the Tigers boast the top two defenses in the nation, and perhaps the two most successful coaches this century has ever seen in Nick Saban and Les Miles. One thing is for sure come Saturday night: Tuscaloosa, Alabama will be the place to be.

It will be strength against size, speed versus power. It will be coaching mastermind facing coaching mastermind. The winner of Saturday’s contest will likely have their ticket punched to the real BCS National Championship, as the winner is expected to reach the bowl season undefeated.

The Crimson Tide rank first in scoring defense, allowing just 6.8 points per game, while the Tigers rank third, giving up an average of 11.5. The Tide allow a jaw dropping 180 yards per game on the defensive side, but the one thing their defense is missing is ball-hawking LSU safety Tyrann Mathieu.

Mathieu, otherwise known as the “honey-badger,” leads the team in tackles with 43 this season, along with 1.5 sacks. He has also led the Tiger secondary with two interceptions this year and has also four fumbles. Additionally, the difference to a successful LSU defense on Saturday will be the defensive line, noted also as one of the best in the nation.

For the Tigers to rough up Bama’s top notch defense, quarterback Jarrett Lee will have to be on his best game. Though Lee has completed an adequate 63% of his passes, he has tossed 13 touchdown passes with one lone interception thus far. Lee filled in at the season’s start for suspended quarterback Jordan Jefferson, and impressed the Tiger nation as he led LSU’s season opening victory over the Oregon Ducks. Over the first eight games of the season, it is evident that Lee fits in with the Tiger offense, largely contributing to their offensive success this year.  The Tigers rank twelfth nationally with 39.3 points scored per game.

For Alabama, their offense can overpower the Tiger defense with their high powered rushing attack. Running back and Heisman contender Trent Richardson averages 123 yards per game, and has run for an impressive 17 touchdowns thus far. Bama’s ground game has paved the way for their eight wins, as quarterback A.J. McCarron has been inconsistent with his passing thus far. He has averaged only 208 yards passing per game, and has only thrown 10 touchdown passes to date.

Ultimately, this game, while hyped, will come down to which offense can outscore the other. However, it might not be so surprising to see a low scoring game as well. Look to see the winning team out-run the other, as the team with the most rushing yards will win the game.

Final Score Prediction: Alabama 21, LSU 16