Nick Saban makes yet another return to the Bayou when he brings his Alabama team into Baton Rouge to take on the home side LSU Tigers. The Crimson Tide have won the last two in the head-to-head matchup after LSU had ripped off five straight. If the game is anything like Alabama’s last trip to Baton Rouge (a 27-21 ‘Bama win) then fans are in for a heck of a matchup. There are no fresh injury concerns for either team so expect a moderately low-scoring affair. Both Alabama (11th) and LSU (7th) feature top 15 defenses.
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The media has done a nice job of building this up as Saban returning to LSU where he helped the Tigers solidify themselves as an upper-echelon SEC team. But he’s gone on to Alabama and done a terrific job having won a national championship. While a loss to South Carolina (35-21) has certainly put a dent in this year’s national championship chase, it is far from a foregone conclusion for Crimson Tide fans. The big issue in this week’s matchup for Alabama is how they can come out coming off of a BYE week. The week before they handed Tennessee a 41-10 drubbing in Knoxville. If their impressive play can carry over to this week then it is reasonable to expect an Alabama win. But, this LSU team is not Tennessee—they actually have post-season hopes and won’t be in the basement of their SEC division. If the Tide can get Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson going in the ground game against the 38th ranked run defense, then it could open up the passing game for quarterback Greg McElroy against the 4th-ranked pass defense.
Saturday nights in Baton Rouge represent what is good and pure about college football. It is then when you have some of the rowdiest, most supportive crowds making “Death Valley” a near-impossible road venue. That is the plan for LSU as they welcome the Tide. And while the home crowd will certainly give the Tigers a roaring welcome it will come down to an offense that—on paper— has been absolutely abysmal. The Tigers boast a slew of most unimpressive statistics: 100th in total yards, 113th in pass offense and 73rd in scoring offense. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson is having a year to forget as he has thrown two touchdowns to eight interceptions. If there is any hope for LSU to beat the reigning national champions they will have to get positive production out of Jefferson.
Alabama vs. LSU Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
@ LSU +6.5
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Alabama vs. LSU Prediction for Week 10:
Game Total Prediction (Top Play) – Alabama has a great defense. LSU has a great defense. LSU has a bad offense. Alabama has a decent offense. With that out of the way, don’t look for a ton of points. Unless LSU can get a lot out of their special teams (you Patrick Peterson) then don’t expect them to be getting anywhere near 20 points. The under seems a good proposition given the fact the Under is 11-1 in LSU’s last 12 home games. We’ll assume that continues.
Spread Prediction –Nick Saban is no idiot. He knows LSU QB Jordan Jefferson isn’t a world-beater with his arm. So, expect Alabama to pressure him and force him to make plays with his arm. The Crimson Tide defense is so good they could also afford to sit back in a zone and let him (Jefferson) attempt to pick their defense apart and be happy with the results. LSU’s defense is outstanding but their offense is anemic at times. Look for Richardson to have a big play or two as the Tide walk out winners.