Alabama Football: One area in which LSU has greatly improved

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Football will face an LSU strength that is much improved compared to last season’s game in Tuscaloosa. A quick analysis would suggest the team component having improved the most is at quarterback, with Jayden Daniels rather than Max Johnson.

Gaining less attention is another roster improvement for the Bengal Tigers. Last November, Alabama had no effective rushing attack. The Crimson Tide was a poor 5-of-18 on third down. Bryce Young had to throw 37 passes to produce 302 passing yards and 58 of those yards came on a touchdown pass to Jameson Williams.

With the Crimson Tide so pass-dependent last November, LSU could tee off on Bryce Young. Officially, the Bengal Tigers recorded four sacks and two quarterback hurries. Unofficially, Bryce was under duress more often.

Alabama Football and the 2022 LSU Defense

Let’s jump forward to Saturday night and why last season’s defensive pressure by LSU is pertinent. LSU’s most disruptive defensive player, in tackles for a loss and sacks, is BJ Ojulari. The OLB-DE did not play against Alabama last season. Neither did another key defensive player for LSU, DL-DE, Ali Gaye. With those two players battling the Alabama football offensive line Saturday night, LSU be better at pressuring Bryce Young than it was last season.

Affecting Bryce will be a third LSU player who did not compete in last season’s game. He is freshman linebacker, Harold Perkins. How good is Perkins? Brian Kelly and Defensive Coordinator, Matt House have patiently developed Perkins this season. In a non-starter role, Perkins has 36 tackles, including 2.5 sacks.

This week, Kelly commented on Perkins’ progress in learning the LSU defensive system, and using Ojulari and Perkins together,

"We have the ability to make defensive calls that have them on the field the whole time, so we just wanted to add that into our defensive call structure to make sure that’s what we felt was best for our team … we can play base defense with both of them on the field, so now we have the ability to do that at any time, and that’s really the biggest difference."

Kelly’s explanation means Perkins can now be utilized more than situationally. How good is Perkins and is he possibly a game-changer? Perkins has the potential to be one of the SEC’s top defensive game-changers next season. Physically he is already a superior threat.

Ojulari and Perkins, with Gaye pushing the pocket in the interior – all three seeking to rattle Bryce Young – in a deafening Tiger Stadium, is a major improvement for LSU from last season.

Next. Analysis of Crimson Tide offensive options. dark

The flip side to the above is if Alabama football running backs can rush effectively, including straight at Ojulari, the LSU defense cannot focus too much on Bryce Young.