Alabama Football: What to expect when LSU has the ball


Alabama Football’s Next Opponent

As the Alabama football team gets ready to enter into what is now its most important two-game stretch of the season, they find themselves in a familiar spot: Face to face with the LSU Tigers with a trip to Atlanta potentially on the line. Thanks to their surprise dismantling of Ole Miss last Saturday, both the Tigers and the Tide control their own destinies in the race for the SEC West. Brian Kelly’s squad has gotten better each week, and like Alabama is getting some much-needed rest this week before the two meet in Baton Rouge.  Let’s look at what the Tide can expect when LSU has the ball.

By the Numbers

Since their Oct. 8 loss to Tennessee, the Tiger’s offense has been extremely explosive, scoring 45 points in each of their last two games. The Tigers don’t currently rank in the top 25 in any national statistical category, but that is misleading as they struggled early on but have really turned the corner over the last few weeks. The Tiger’s offense is incredibly balanced, as evidenced by last week’s game against Ole Miss. The Tigers ran for 252 yards and threw for 248.  This balance has allowed them to rack up over 500 yards of total offense in both games and helped them to win the time of possession battle in each game. Luckily, Alabama is coming off arguably its best defensive performance of the year limiting Mississippi State to only one garbage time score.

LSU Players to Watch

LSU’s success starts and stops with Jayden Daniels. The offense flows through the Arizona State transfer who leads the team in both passing and rushing! Against the Rebels, the Junior was an extremely efficient 21-28 through the air for 248 yards and carried the ball 23 times for 121 yards. Daniels was directly responsible for 5 of LSU’s 6 scores on the day. The way LSU sets up designed runs for Daniels is extremely impressive, often lining up in 2-3 tight end sets and giving Daniels the option to hand the ball off or pull it and get to the edge. When he decides to throw the ball, Daniels has a full stable of highly rated and athletic receivers to get the ball to, and if the play breaks down, he excels at scrambling for extra yardage.

One interesting player to watch that may fly under the radar is TE Mason Taylor. The 6’5″ 245 freshman is extremely versatile, lining up all over the field. He’ll play in the slot, at a wing, soloed outside against a smaller corner, and as a traditional end line tight end. He’s a more than capable pass catcher and flashes high-level athleticism for a man that big when he has the ball. Where Taylor really shines is in his ability to block, especially in space. Keep your eyes on #86 and he will typically take you to the ball.

Next. Three thoughts as Tide's open week ends. dark

Controlling the line of scrimmage, and handling the read option runs will be key for the Alabama football team to come away with a victory and stay on track for a return to Atlanta.