Battle For The SEC West: Looking Ahead to Alabama vs LSU

This Saturday College Gameday is going down to Baton Rouge for a southern rivalry of epic proportions. The #1 Alabama Crimson Tide are visiting the #4 LSU Tigers in Death Valley. Alabama comes into this game 8-0, while LSU comes in with a record of 7-1. Alabama leads the overall series record 52-25-5 including a 2017 win 24-10 in Tuscaloosa. The 2018 chapter of the Crimson Tide and the Geaux Tigers should be another classic edition. For both Alabama and LSU, there are some keys to winning the game. Let’s take a look at the keys on offense and defense for both SEC teams to bring home a win.

Keys To A Win For Alabama

The Crimson Tide on the offensive side of the ball will need to keep doing what they are doing. Alabama has been successful in the passing game and rushing averaging 564.3 total yards per contest. 347.4 of it in the passing game led by Heisman front-runner quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and that’s the average passing yards per game. Tua leads Alabama in passing stats on the Crimson Tide this season with 2066 yards and 25 touchdowns. Most of Tua’s passes are being caught by the Crimson Tide’s leading receiver with 777 yards receiving and ten touchdowns, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.

Also, 216.9 yards per game out of the total yards is rushing the ball. Alabama’s leading rusher this season is running back Najee Harris with 489 yards and four touchdowns. The amount of success that this Alabama team is having is in part because of this high-powered offense that’s averaging 54.1 points per game. If players like Tua Tagovailoa, Najee Harris, and Jerry Jeudy all have good games, the Crimson Tide might walk out with a win.

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Alabama’s defensive keys to the game are to hold LSU to the Crimson Tide’s allowed points per game average 15.9, create turnovers on LSU’s offense, and put pressure on Joe Burrow. Alabama is only allowing just under 16 points a game and LSU’s offense is just scoring 30.4 per game. This Crimson Tide defense should have no problem holding the Tigers from scoring if they execute the next key which creates turnovers.

The Alabama defense has 12 interceptions, and LSU’s quarterback Burrow has thrown three interceptions this season. If the Crimson Tide offense starts putting up points, Burrow may try to force throws that Alabama’s secondary could capitalize on. This front seven could help with the second key and third key to the game for the defense.

If these defensive linemen and linebackers put pressure on LSU’s quarterback, the turnovers may come. Sacks which the Alabama defense ranks 7th in with 26 will also help force fumbles by LSU’s quarterback. These keys to the game may help the Crimson Tide win on the road in Baton Rouge Louisiana.

Keys To A Win For LSU

For LSU offensively, they have been very balanced in the passing and rushing game. Passing yards per game average is at 193 yards and rushing per game is at 190.6 yards. It’s great to be balanced, and that’s part if the reason they are 7-1 coming into this game, but those numbers must increase. Total yards is at 383.6, and that’s not enough to hang with Alabama. The points per game average are at 30.4, and unless LSU’s defense plays perfect, the offense will need to score more as well.

Joe Burrow leads LSU in passing with 1544 yards and six touchdowns this season. He has three interceptions as well, and he will need to remain mistake free to topple the Tide. The run game led by Nick Brossette with 697 yards and ten touchdowns will also be an offensive key to a Tigers win. Success in the passing and rushing game could help LSU improve on their 3rd down offense which ranks 87th.

Conversions on 3rd down are a necessity to beat Alabama. The Tigers offensive line also has allowed 18 sacks this season. They need to protect their quarterback or this offense won’t stand a chance against the Crimson Fire’s front seven.

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On the defensive side of the ball, LSU must try to hold the Alabama offense to somewhere close to LSU’s allowed points per game average of 15.1. Along with creating turnovers on these Crimson Tide playmakers. LSU leads the nation at #1 in interceptions with 14. However, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t thrown a single interception all season. Good luck Geaux Tigers, best guess is to try to force fumbles on the Crimson Tide offense.

If the LSU defense could try to get a sack, they may force a fumble that way. Then again Alabama has only allowed five sacks all season which ranks 5th nationally. The LSU Tigers need a Death Valley prayer or some Louisiana Voodoo. They need something to upset the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide.

Alabama versus LSU. The Crimson Tide versus the Baton Rouge Tigers. A rivalry that almost always has SEC West division implications and SEC championship implications. 2018 is no different. #1 Alabama taking on #4 LSU in Death Valley. It’s all on the line for the SEC West division. Southeastern powerhouses clash on Saturday.

 

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