No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide v. No. 15 LSU Tigers
When: Saturday, November 5 – 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
TV Broadcast Live Stream: CBS
This Saturday night, we have another huge tilt between Nick Saban’s top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and Ed Orgeron’s No. 15 LSU Tigers in Death Valley. The Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) soar into the match-up looking to trample the hopes of a rejuvenated LSU squad, while the Tigers (5-2, 3-1) are eager to cement their return to prominence after a 2-2 start that resulted in the firing of Les Miles. Alabama boasts strengths on every front, especially in the offensive and defensive backfields, but LSU’s running game is nothing to scoff at either.
True freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts leads the way for the Crimson Tide on offense, as his 1,578 passing yards and 521 rushing yards rank sixth and 18th in the SEC, respectively. Hurts have provided more than stats. His catalytic style of play has launched Lane Kiffin’s offensive scheme to new heights.
The Tigers’ quarterback, Danny Etling, isn’t nearly as impactful as Hurts but should find comfort with the presence of Leonard Fournette in the backfield. In his return to competition against Ole Miss, Fournette galloped for 284 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 touches, a program record for rushing yards in a single game. Now, Fournette and LSU must face a ball-hawking Crimson Tide secondary led by Minkah Fitzpatrick, as well as studs in the front seven such as linebacker Reuben Foster and defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. One must remember how this defense held Fournette to only 31 yards on 19 carries last season, 11 of those carries for a loss.
The Tigers also feature a fierce defense. Defensive end Arden Key is second in the conference in sacks, while Kendell Beckwith holds down the No. 3 ranking in tackles. Combined with Orgeron —long known to be a defensive guru— LSU’s defensive attack could prove to be the toughest Alabama has faced all season.
With a win, the Crimson Tide would remain undefeated and in the driver’s seat for the program’s 17th championship. By the same token, an upset for LSU could potentially remove the interim tag for Orgeron and grant him the opportunity to lead the charge in Baton Rouge. Furthermore, a victory would give the Tigers a chance to capture the SEC West.
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The Tigers boast a strong running game, but the Tide’s defense is too strong. Fournette will come out firing, but as the game wears on, he’ll be swallowed time and time again by Alabama’s athletic front seven. Hurts and wide receiver Calvin Ridley will establish a connection and overwhelm a talented LSU defense. Alabama 38, LSU 24