Alabama Football: Running on LSU should be easier than last season


Last season against LSU, the Alabama football rushing attack was stuffed. Brian Robinson Jr. rushed 13 times for just 18 yards. Roydell Williams had a bit more success with nine yards on two carries. Combined, 15 carries gaining only 27 yards allowed LSU to come close to a stunning upset.

For the Crimson Tide to escape last season, with a six-point home win, Jameson Williams and John Methchie III had to catch 19 passes, producing 233 yards and two touchdowns. An improving Alabama wide receiver group has, so far, not come close to replacing such output.

A new LSU coaching staff and a considerably changed LSU roster make comparisons to last season dubious. But an interesting statistical comparison stands out. Last season, in October games, LSU allowed 5.67 yards per carry. In this season’s October games, LSU is surrendering a 4.61 yard average. That 2022 stat is 9th best among SEC teams.

Perhaps a too obvious conclusion is LSU, going into Saturday night’s game, is better at run defense than it was last season – when it basically destroyed Alabama football’s running back production.

Can Alabama Football run on LSU?

During the open week before last season’s Alabama vs. LSU game, Bengal Tigers’ Defensive Coordinator, Daronte Jones re-schemed his defense, going from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and taking an aggressive, blitz-heavy approach. The change caused the Tide problems. It took the Crimson Tide over 27 minutes to score on LSU last season. Two Crimson Tide touchdowns, late in the second quarter and one early in the third quarter gave Alabama 20 points – enough to win, because the Tide defense was sturdy.

The second, of the Tide’s two first-half touchdowns, was a short-field drive after an Alabama interception. The third Tide TD came from an explosive play of 58 yards from Bryce Young to Jameson Williams. Including the long touchdown pass, Alabama produced just 92 yards of offense in last year’s second half. For the game, Alabama was 4-for-13 on third downs.

The adjustment by Jones changed LSU, with the average, opponent rushing yards going from 5.67 yards in October to 2.44 yards in November.

This season, the LSU DC is Matt House. But there is no doubt House and Brian Kelly have studied what worked well defensively against the Crimson Tide last season.

In week eight, against Ole Miss, LSU gave up 111 rushing yards to Quinshon Judkins, at an average of 4.4 yards. With the Tide’s passing attack, it does not need massive rushing yards, but it does need offensive balance.

Next. The Alabama Run Game. dark

Depending on how well the offensive line creates a push, Alabama should not struggle to run against LSU as it did last season. Maybe the Tide will not ‘run over’ LSU defenders but on Saturday night, the offense should produce enough rushing yards for a Crimson Tide victory.