TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama football is back Saturday after a bye week to host LSU in a game that could have huge implications on the SEC West race.
The No. 8 Crimson Tide faces the No. 13 LSU Tigers in a game that should be a thriller after last year’s contest was an instant classic that came down to the final play, where Jayden Daniels connected with Mason Taylor on a two-point conversion to give LSU the win in overtime, 32-31.
LSU comes into this game with the No. 1 total offense in college football, averaging 552.9 yards per game and 47.4 points per game. The Tide defense will be the best the Tigers have faced in 2023, as Bama ranks No. 17 in total defense, allowing an average of 306.4 yards per game.
In the Tigers’ last game, it was a lopsided matchup, as they defeated Army, 62-0. Jayden Daniels finished 11-of-15 for 279 yards and three touchdowns. Brian Thomas Jr. caught three passes for 122 yards and two scores. In Alabama’s last outing, its strong second-half effort gave the Tide a 34-20 win over the Tennessee Volunteers. Jalen Milroe was 14-for-21 with 220 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. on CBS 42. Here’s what to look for in Tide versus Tigers:
Can Alabama limit Jayden Daniels and the LSU offense?
- In the game a year ago, quarterback Jayden Daniels did it with his arm and legs, throwing for 182 yards while contributing another 95 yards on the ground. It’ll be key for the Alabama front seven to pressure Daniels, who is having a Heisman-caliber season. Alabama has 28 sacks on the season, while LSU has only given up 17 sacks.
- The Alabama secondary will be tested as well with LSU bringing in one of the best wide receiver duos in the country. Malik Nabers recorded 121 yards against Army and has 981 yards on the season with four regular season games remaining. Brian Thomas Jr. has also been explosive for the Tigers, with 732 yards on the season to go with 11 touchdowns.
Can Alabama establish a run game and keep LSU off the field?
- The Alabama run game has steadily improved over the last two weeks, but this week, it may be crucial to establish it early. With LSU’s high-powered offense, Bama must limit its possessions and keep the Tigers off the field. The offensive line, who played its cleanest game of the season as far as penalties against Tennessee, must try to re-establish those efforts Saturday.
Bama must protect Jalen Milroe
- The offensive line struggles have been the theme of the season for the Crimson Tide. Alabama has given up 35 sacks this season, and only Wake Forest, Colorado and Old Dominion have allowed more. LSU hasn’t put a ton of pressure on quarterbacks this season, only recording 14 sacks thus far through eight games. Harold Perkins is still one of the best defensive players in the SEC, so it’ll be pivotal for Alabama to locate him and protect Milroe.
- Point spread: Alabama (-3)
- Over-under 60.5
- Moneyline: Alabama (-148) | LSU (+124)