Alabama vs LSU: Looking At The Stats

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It’s Alabama vs LSU. It’s Game of the Centuries. It’s the Tide shutting out the Tigers in the BCS Title Game. And there’s the thing about Nick Saban being a former LSU coach, too.

This one probably doesn’t have as much build up as the others but make no mistake about it; it’s a big one for the fans and it’s still important in the race for the western division.

The Tigers have dropped two games so far and the Tide has a loss as well. Alabama is still in control of their possible trip to Atlanta and while it’s a slim chance the Tigers can make it, there is still a chance with some help. Let’s take a quick look at the stats to see how these two powerhouses match-up for the game. All rankings are in conference.

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LSU comes in ranked fifth at running the ball, averaging 225 yards per game. That stat is a bit skewed however because as of late, that’s been a huge part of the Tigers’ offense. The Tigers’ passing offense comes in ranked just ahead of Vanderbilt, Florida, and Missouri. Tiger signal callers are only completing 51-percent of their passes for an average of 188 yards per game.

As most Tide fans know, that shouldn’t be a barometer heading into this game. Most will remember Tiger quarterback Zach Mettenberger not looking all that crisp in games leading up to Alabama but then looked like the second coming of Joe Montana against the Tide. The Tigers will be up for this game no matter what and you can count on them bringing everything that they can.

Knowing the LSU quarterbacks struggle in the passing game, Alabama will be focused on stopping the run and will force LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings to beat them with his arm. This plays right into Alabama’s strength if LSU can’s get the passing game going. The Tide comes in ranked number one at stopping the run, only giving up 78 yards per game with one two rushing touchdowns this season.

Alabama’s offense will look to continue its upswing on the road and hope for no major communication issues. The Tide’s last game against Tennessee in Neyland Stadium was a great warm up but it won’t compare to the noise that the Tide will encounter in Baton Rouge. Alabama comes in ranked sixth or better in both passing and rushing offense. The Tigers are ranked at the top for passing defense but come in ranked ninth in rushing defense. Hopefully offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin can continue to move wide receiver Amari Cooper around to create mismatches which will in turn, open up the running game against susceptible rush defense in the Tigers.

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A slug fest between these two teams could come down to field goals and if it does, one would have to give the Tigers the edge in that category. LSU has made 88-percent of their attempts this year while the Tide has gone 9-for-13. Tide kicker Adam Griffith started out the year perfect against West Virginia but has had some struggles as of late. Coach Nick Saban did say that Griffith has some injury issues he was working through but didn’t specify exactly what it was.

Final Score Prediction

I think LSU will get their share of yards but the Tide’s number one defense against the run will get some key stops when they are needed. Blake Sims’ ability to create plays with his feet and move away from the pass rush will also be big, keeping LSU’s defense honest enough to open up the running game.

Alabama 24, LSU 17