I said in an earlier blog post that Tennessee had surpassed auburn as far as a rivalry game goes. That is true for the most part. But,…… LSU vs Alabama has meant more on the national level than any other SEC game for the past several years. Not only because Tiger fans hate Coach Saban for leaving but because the winner has a great shot at winning the SEC West and going on to play for national championships. This year is no different.
The teams look similar at least on paper. Both are young at quarterback. Both have running backs capable of breaking long runs every play. Both have good receivers. Both teams have good offensive and defensive lines. And both defenses are fairly solid behind those lines. Yes, on paper they seem close.
Again a but,… Alabama’s defense has given up 57 points in the first half and 74 in the second half. Close numbers.
LSU has held opponents to 51 points in the first half of games – but the Tigers have allowed 107 in the second half. Slightly more for the Tigers,… which could mean a couple of things. Bama has better conditioning and better depth and also Bama makes better adjustments at halftime. Or it could be a combination of all of that. Either way, I am still a firm believer that defense wins championships. Holding onto the ball,… mental mistakes such as penalties and poor judgment on punt/kickoff coverage have to be avoided. Bama has to play its best game of the season for the full 60 minutes in this one or their 4th place ranking in the college playoffs will be all for naught.
Two things help Bama win this one, home field advantage (even though it rarely means anything in this matchup) and Bama’s depth on defense. Two key elements in Bama’s 24-21 win over LSU. Fournette will have a good game but Bama will keep him in check for the most part.