#1 LSU v #2 Alabama Preview: Point Spread, Prediction, and Keys to Victory

In certain weeks it is hard to narrow down the game of the week in college football, but this time it is very easy as #1 LSU goes on the road to Tuscaloosa to take on #2 Alabama.

Not since 2006, has the number one and number two ranked teams in the nation played each other in the regular season (excludes conference championship games), so this type of game doesn’t happen often.  The 2006 game lived up to all the hype when #1 Ohio State defeated #2 Michigan 42-39, and hopefully this game will be just as compelling.

The winner of this game will be favorite to win the national championship. Here is what you can expect from the two best teams in the country.

Click to read arguments for and against an LSU-Alabama BCS Title game rematch.

LSU-Alabama preview, point spread, prediction, tv kickoff time

LSU-ALABAMA: WHEN ALABAMA IS ON OFFENSE

The Crimson Tide has one of the best of rushing attacks in college football, averaging over 200 yards per game.  Trent Richardson (149 car, 989 YDS, 17 TDs) is one of the best running backs in the country and is one of the top contenders to win Heisman Trophy.  Richardson will get a bunch of carries in this game, and with his 6.6 average yards per carry he will be very tough for the LSU defense to stop.

The Tide’s offense is best known for their ground game, but sophomore quarterback A.J. McCarron (134-200, 1664 YDS, 10 TDs) has been very efficient this season.  All they ask of McCarron is to manage the game, and so far he has excelled in this role.  McCarron has been very good at protecting the ball and last week he threw his first interception since throwing two in week one.

LSU-ALABAMA: WHEN LSU IS ON OFFENSE

Quarterback Jarrett Lee (98-155, 1250 YDS, 13 TDs) has been better than expected since he took over the starting quarterback role after Jordan Jefferson got suspended.  Just like McCarron for Alabama, Lee has been very good at protecting the ball and has only thrown one interception this season.  He will need to continue not throwing interceptions if LSU wants stay ranked number one.

LSU does have a very effective ground game as well, which makes their offense very balanced.  LSU is a run-first team that averages 189 yards per game on the ground, and they have two running backs that they will use throughout the game.  Spencer Ware (128 CAR, 512 YDS, 6 TDs) leads LSU In rushing, but they will also use Michael Ford (79 CAR, 441 YDS, 6 TDs).

LSU-ALABAMA: WHEN ALABAMA IS ON DEFENSE

Alabama has the number one defense in the country and leads the nation in scoring defense.   Teams are averaging less than 7 points per game against them and they have only given up six touchdowns this season.  Their run defense has been so good this season that in eight games they have only given up 359 yards on the ground.

Alabama’s defense is loaded at all positions, and their Linebackers are the best in the nation with three All-American candidates (Dont’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw and Nico Johnson).  Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw are among the 12 semifinalists for the 2011 Lombardi Award.

LSU-ALABAMA: WHEN LSU IS ON DEFENSE

LSU’s defense has been just as dominant this season, and they have the second rank defense in the country.  Teams are only averaging 11.5 points per game against them this season, which is very impressive because they have played against some very good offenses.

LSU has arguably the best secondary in the country, and with 11 interceptions they have done an outstanding job of getting turnovers.  This unit is headlined by cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, whoc in two seasons has forced nine fumbles – an LSU record.  So far this season Mathieu has five turnovers (two interceptions, three fumble recoveries) and his 42 tackles is third on the team.

LSU-ALABAMA KEYS TO VICTORY

  • ALABAMA: LSU has forced a lot of turnovers this season, and if Alabama wants to be number one in the polls after Saturday night then they are going to have to protect the ball.
  • LSU: Alabama is going to run the ball with Trent Richardso,n and if LSU wants to win this game they are going to have to stop him and force A.J. McCarron to beat them with the pass.

LSU-ALABAMA PREDICTION

These teams are very evenly matched, and trying to predict a winner is extremely difficult.  I give the slight edge to Alabama because they are at home.  Alabama wins 17-14 in a low scoring game.

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LSU v Alabama Game Info:

  • LSU-Alabama Date: Saturday, November 5
  • LSU-Alabama Date Kickoff Time: 8:00 PM ET
  • LSU-Alabama TV: CBS
  • LSU-Alabama Point Spread: Alabama -4.5

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* – LSU Alabama photo credit: via Nola.com



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