LSU Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Game Preview

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Joe Broback

Contributor at Champion Insiders
Joe is a writer covering the NFL, NBA, NHL and college football. He also currently writes for SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, covering the American Athletic Conference since 2016. Joe enjoys collecting shoes, playing sports, and anything fitness related.
Joe Broback
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We always knew this game would be a big one, but there weren’t many that expected this type of importance. The top two teams in the country are the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers, reminding us of the 2011 season. Those two teams played elite defense, and that was evident by the 36 points scored in the two games they played (9-6 LSU win in the regular season, 21-0 Alabama win in the national championship). This year will be the complete opposite, as both teams are scoring at blistering paces. Could we see a repeat of 2011 in which these two teams play in the national championship game? Fans might have a problem with that happening, but there aren’t many teams that are as good as these two.

Date: Saturday, November 9th
Start time: 2:30pm CT
How to watch: CBS
Line: Alabama -6
Location: Bryant Denny Stadium (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Players to watch

Alabama Crimson Tide

QB Tua Tagovailoa
WR Jerry Jeudy
WR Henry Ruggs III
DL Raekwon Davis
CB Patrick Surtain II

LSU Tigers

QB Joe Burrow
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WR Justin Jefferson
S Grant Delpit
CB Derek Stingley Jr

Alabama Crimson Tide Outlook

It’s strange to watch an Alabama team that can score at will and not play elite defense. Don’t get me wrong, Nick Saban’s team knows how to dominate on the defensive side of the ball. We just haven’t seen the frequency as we have in year’s past. For the first time in what seems like forever, they’ll need to play well against an LSU team that can play offense. Normally, the Crimson Tide needed to find a way to stop the run against the Tigers, but now the passing game is a legitimate threat. Saban’s pride and joy, the secondary, will have their hands full. Patrick Surtain II, Trevon Diggs, Shyheim Carter, and Xavier McKinney all have NFL potential, but this will be their toughest test of the season. It’s the first time fans will worry about their defense getting torched, but not because the talent isn’t on that side of the ball. The LSU Tigers are just that good on offense.

Speaking of offense, Alabama knows a thing or two about that as well. The Crimson Tide boast arguably the best group of receivers in the country. Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, and DeVonta Smith have all produced monster games this year, giving any defense plenty to worry about when they face the Tide. Throw in sophomore Jaylen Waddle, and it’s almost impossible to shut down the Alabama passing attack. The only thing holding them back is the health of their quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who’s a game-time decision for Saturday. Mac Jones did well in his absence, but the offense doesn’t run the same without their star quarterback.

LSU Tigers Outlook

You could make an argument that this Tigers team has the chance to be the best is school history. LSU’s produced national championship caliber teams before, but you’d be hard pressed to find a team doing it the way the 2019 Tigers play. Former Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow’s taken his new opportunity, and ran with it. His development as a passer has put him in the Heisman conversation, and has some scouts projecting him to be the first quarterback taken in the 2020 NFL Draft. His receivers also deserve some love too, however. Justin Jefferson exploded towards the end of the year in 2018, and is having a career year in 2019. Ja’Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall Jr. have also provided sparks, and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is one of the most underrated backs in college football. In the past, the Tigers offense faultered against the Crimson Tide defense, but it feels like that won’t happen this year. For one, it will come down to how much the defense can slow down Alabama’s offense.

We mentioned the Crimson Tide receivers earlier, and they’ll test a secondary that has a freshman starting. Derek Stingley Jr. continues to thrive in his first year of SEC football, and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. He’s only 18 years old, and might get a wake up call when he faces three (maybe even four) potential NFL Draft picks. LSU’s secondary has the talent to compete with that group of receivers, but the question remains how long they can keep up. Dava Aranda’s group is good, but they haven’t faced an offense like this yet, and will have their hands full all game.

Prediction

If Tua doesn’t play, Alabama’s in some trouble. They’ll already have their hands full even if he plays, and LSU won’t feel sorry for them. If he’s in, it will be a battle. If he’s not, the Tigers have the advantage. Regardless of who you cheer for, this game provides plenty of hype and entertainment. It might be the first shootout between these two, but everyone should be excited for that to happen. LSU 38 ALABAMA 35

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