By Andrew Edwards
One of the best rivalries in the entire country is finally here again, as the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers are set to face-off tomorrow afternoon in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
This game has had its fair share of moments throughout the past 11 years: the Rashad Johnson interception in 2008, the Julio touchdown in 2009, Les Miles eating grass in 2010, Marquis Maze’s interception in 2011, the screen pass to Yeldon in 2012 – the list goes on.
Bring it around full circle to 2019 and we have our self a game that has seen the Crimson Tide win eight in row. While several of those games were competitive, we haven’t seen hype like this since the 2011 “Game of Century”. Yeah, that game of the century – the one that saw four made field goals in regulation and slew of other missed ones.
Regardless of your opinion of that 2011 game, it was still a defensive masterpiece that saw 42 players combined from each team reach the NFL. But if you think that game is going to play out like the one we have in store tomorrow, you might want to think again.
While the 2011 Alabama and LSU teams were legendary in their own right, both offenses were archaic compared what we see from them now.
LSU comes into this game with the second-best passing attack in the country and fourth in points per game with 46.8. Oh, and their QB only completes 78.8 percent of his passes and his first place for the Heisman right now. No big deal.
That’s been the countries nightmare for the last decade.
Everyone has always known that LSU has top tier talent at just about every position, but they haven’t been able to figure out the quarterback position. Now, they have QB to complement the rest of the team, and those nightmares are coming into fruition. Couple that with an NFL running back talent like Clyde-Edwards Helaire and Alabama is going to have their hands full on defense – perhaps on a level that they have never seen.
But this is Alabama they are playing, and they have a pretty decent QB too.
Tua Tagavailoa is expected to play in this game, and he has to be excited to face an LSU defense that isn’t quite as stout as years past. There’s no doubt he’s heard all of the hype surrounding Joe Burrow – and Tua isn’t the type of competitor to settle for second place. There will be no backing down from the Alabama QB as he rolls into this game with the best wide receiver core in the nation.
Nick Saban said last night on his weekly radio show that he shared a Michael Jordan quote with his team this week, “Talent wins games. Teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
Alabama has talent, there’s no question. But if they want to win this game tomorrow, they are going to need to see a team effort like the one we saw in 2012 National Title against LSU, 2013 Against Notre Dame, etc.
There’s a lot of factors that play into this game, but I actually think the most important might be the Alabama WRs vs the LSU DBs. LSU might have the best secondary in the country, so it’s going to be important for UA to come up with clever play calling to mix up the pass and rush to create separation.
For me, at the end of the day, it comes down to coaching. It’s Nick Saban or Ed Orgeron. Who would you want to put money on? Both teams have had two weeks to prepare, but if you give me Nick Saban with an extra week of preparation, I’m going to take that ten out of ten times. LSU and Bama stay close all game, but the tide put a late one on them to keep it out of reach for the Tigers.
Score: Alabama 38 LSU 28