Early in the season it looked like this game was not going to be an appetizing matchup. LSU could not score or even move the ball and Alabama wasn’t letting people score or move the ball. Then LSU fired Les Miles and it’s been all unicorns and rainbows since then. Ed Orgeron is 3-0 as the interim coach at LSU and many believe that, should he beat Alabama, he could very well get the full time head coaching job.
Standing in the way of that possibility is what some are calling Nick Saban’s best team at Alabama, which is saying something considering that there have been dozens of players taken in the NFL Draft and four National Championship-winning teams. Much of the hype surrounds true freshman QB Jalen Hurts. Hurts has completed 63% of his passes for 1,578 yards and 12 TDs against only 5 INTs. He is also the teams second leading rusher with 521 yards and 9 TDs on 95 carries. Meanwhile, Alabama’s defense has been nothing short of ridiculous. Through eight games the Tide defense has only given up more than 14 points on two occasions (against Ole Miss and Arkansas) and giving up an average of 15 points per game. There has been no drop off with Jeremey Pruitt as the DC and it certainly looks like Kirby Smart needed Alabama more than Alabama needed Kirby Smart.
As mentioned above, LSU’s offense was practically non-existent during the first few games of the season. Since the dismissal of Les Miles, LSU has scored 42 points against Missouri, 45 points against Southern Miss and 38 points against Ole Miss. The Tigers seem to have found something resembling a passing attack with former Purdue QB Danny Etling. Etling has complete 61 &% of his passes for 1,129 yards and 7 TDs against only 3 INTs. Most importantly however, is the return of star running back Leonard Fournette. In his first game back from injury, Fournette ran for 284 yards on just 16 carries against Ole Miss. Defensively, new coordinator Dave Aranda has live up to his billing as one of the top defensive minds in college football. The Tigers have given up more than 20 points on just one occasions (21 against Ole Miss) and are giving up an average of 15 points per game. It certainly looks like a defensive slugfest is set for Death Valley.
- Nick Saban was the head coach at LSU from 2000 to 2004, going 48-16 and winning the 2003 National Championship.
- Since taking over at Alabama in 2007, all four of Nick Saban’s trips to LSU have been one possession games.
- Since 1983 this game has only been played away from either campus one time. That of course was the National Championship game on January 9, 2012 at the Superdome in New Orleans.
Tiger Stadium – Baton Rouge, LA
Alabama leads 50-25-5
Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, AL
Current CFP Ranking
Next Games Up
Alabama vs. Mississippi State
LSU @ Arkansas