Alabama Football: Bama’s offense vs. LSU’s defense matchups and breakdown

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

There’s been a lot of talk about this being the LSU team to finally end the streak against Alabama football. Defense will be key. How does the Tiger defense matchup with Alabama’s lethal offense?

This isn’t your dad’s LSU Bengal Tigers football team. Honestly, this isn’t like any LSU football team in recent memory. They score the football unlike almost any team in the country, except… Alabama football.

Scoring likely won’t be the issue for Ed Orgeron’s squad. The problem will be slowing down the highest-scoring offense in the FBS. Michael Divinity’s recent departure from the program isn’t going to help matters either.

Divinity’s pass-rushing presence and senior leadership will be sorely missed from a linebacking corps that was already considered the weakness of a surprisingly mediocre LSU defense. Tua and his offensive line are breathing a bit easier knowing he won’t be on the field Saturday.

Losing Divinity is a blow to be sure, but the rest of the defense is still good enough to keep LSU within striking distance. Let’s take a deeper look at the matchups and how each unit might try to attack the other.

Offensive Line and Tua vs. LSU Pass Rush

It’s no secret that Tua will probably not be 100% for this game. That being said, the Alabama football offensive line is 2nd in the SEC and 12th in the nation in sacks allowed per game. LSU’s pass rush is 30th in the nation at producing sacks, but they are now without their sack leader.

LSU isn’t going to change their formula much in the trenches. They will come after Tua early to test that ankle and try to force him to make mistakes early to put pressure on the young Alabama defense.

This matchup will be the deciding factor in the game in my opinion. If the LSU pass rush can get to Tua and disrupt the passing game, then they have a good chance to come out with a victory.

Alabama football
(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

LSU Secondary vs. The Four Horsemen

I know I’m the only person that calls the Alabama football WRs the Four Horsemen, but it’s a perfect nickname. When they appear you know the end is near.

LSU has All-American Grant Delpit leading the secondary, but he cannot cover Jeudy, Ruggs, Smith, and Waddle by himself. The rest of the secondary is just not on the same level as Alabama’s receivers. They are just too good.

If you try to cover them, you leave a four or five-man box for Najee and Brian Robinson to feast on. LSU’s best chance to keep these guys in check is to have a consistently successful pass rush.

If LSU can get to Tua consistently that will help the secondary cover the Tide receivers. The secondary is going to go with a lot of man defense and two deep coverage over the top to contain the speed of Ruggs and Waddle.

If the depleted pass rush of LSU can’t get pressure though, it won’t matter what the coverage is.

Najee and B-Rob vs. LSU Front Seven

The other person salivating at the news of Divinity’s departure is Najee Harris. LSU has played a lot of pass-happy teams this season. Of the four games LSU has played against Power 5 teams only one, Auburn (19th), is currently in the top 20 in terms of rush yards per game. The other three are Texas (55th), Vanderbilt (104th), and Florida (117th).

Alabama proved in the Arkansas game they can run the ball consistently. They racked up 179 yards on 38 carries and 4.7 YPC. Najee was even better, averaging 6.6 YPC on 13 carries. Najee and Brian Robinson must have a similar performance against LSU to help keep the pressure off Tua and the WRs.

This is a matchup that swings heavily in favor of Alabama. I believe Alabama will run early to test Divinity’s replacement on the edge. That will open up the quick slant that has been the bread and butter for Alabama football this season.

At the end of the day, Alabama football has too many weapons on offense for LSU to be able to handle. Alabama will be able to score the ball, but the question will be can Alabama’s defense make enough stops on the equally powerful LSU offense?

dark. Next. Young Defense Peaking at Perfect Time

On that note, the defense has been improving week after week and are peaking at the perfect time. They will be needed down the stretch against LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn, and Georgia in a potential SEC Championship showdown.