The biggest week (so far) of the Alabama football season is here. College football’s most productive offense is coming to Bryant-Denny and the Crimson Tide must win to continue its championship aspirations.
The LSU Bengal Tigers are a legitimately outstanding offensive football team. The LSU defense is far from great; 12th in the SEC in Scoring Defense and No. 75 among all FBS teams.
A much-improved Crimson Tide team should be too much for the Bengal Tigers. Which does not suggest the game will be less than an intense battle. Conventional wisdom, including the opinions of many Alabama football fans, is that the Crimson Tide cannot win a shootout with LSU. If a couple of ‘ifs’ don’t hamper the Crimson Tide offense, that ‘can’t win a shootout’ wisdom may not be correct.
Let’s discuss what needs to happen to keep the game from becoming a shootout.
An Alabama Football Win – Not in a Shootout
- Jayden Daniels must be slowed with both pass pressure and containment. He can explode with his arm, and with his receivers LSU having success passing is likely. What Alabama cannot let Daniels do is win the game by running. That could mean as much as Nick Saban prefers man coverages, the Crimson Tide may have to play more zone, so fewer heads are turned away from a scrambling Daniels.
- The Crimson Tide defense must get off the field after several third downs. Alabama cannot afford to have a tired defense in the 4th quarter.
- The Bryant-Denny crowd will be a factor when LSU has the ball, but Daniels will not rattle. So the Tide offense must be solid, with few or no miscues by the offensive line.
- To help the Alabama defense not wear down, the Tide offense must be consistently productive. Every drive needs to produce either points and/or chew-up game clock minutes.
- Jalen Milroe does not have to outplay Daniels, but Milroe must not be loose in running or throwing, thereby creating turnovers.
Nothing in the five bullets above is a surprise to Bama or LSU. Both teams will be well aware of these keys and others as well.
An early week hunch is execution, rather than schemes will determine which team wins.
Note: Stats provided by cfbstats.com
A not yet fully formed, additional early hunch is that Alabama is better than LSU. Maybe as much as two touchdowns better, especially if the rumors of a depleted LSU secondary prove to be true.