By Andrew Edwards
It’s almost time. The game of the year, so far. Tigers and Tide.
You’ve heard the hype. We all know how good LSU and Alabama are this season, but now’s the time for one of these teams to emerge as the SEC West leader.
Alabama (8-0) will face its toughest test of the season in LSU (8-0). The Tide will have to corral the most efficient passing offense in the country and try to stymie one of the more underrated running backs in the country, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. A difficult task, no doubt – especially for a bama defense that has struggled they way it has so far this year.
Currently, the two are ranked atop of the AP poll, but that could change tomorrow as the first college football playoff rankings will be revealed. Many believe the tigers will remain number one, but it will be interesting to see if Alabama holds that number two spot. Ohio State could potentially unseat Alabama, which would take away the “number one vs number two” headline that’s trying to make its way into Bryant-Denny this weekend.
There also the question of Tua Tagovailoa and his recovery from ankle surgery.
On Monday morning, Nick Saban said that Tua was still listed as a “game-time” decision for this weekend. With that being said, it’s probably easy to assume that both Tua and Mac Jones will be getting an even amount of reps with the first team offense this week. However, most people close to the team believe Tagovailoa will be ready to go.
It was also announced on Monday that LSU starting linebacker, Michael Divinity, is no longer with the team. This is huge blow for the Tigers, as Divinity lead the team with three sacks and it is 10th in tackles with 23.
Key Matchup: Joe Burrow vs Alabama Secondary
Burrow is the front-runner for the Heisman right now and would all but secure it with a strong performance and victory over Alabama. However, the strength of the Alabama defense seems to reside in the secondary. Experience from Xavier McKinney, Patrick Surtain II, Trevon Diggs, and Shyheim Carter in the secondary should go a long way for tide.
Player to Watch: LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
This guy is just flat out fun to watch. He’s often overlooked because of the efficient passing attack from the Tigers, but with 683 rushing yards and eight TDs, the player can’t be underestimated – especially against a bama defense that has been gashed in the run game several times this season.