clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jumbo Package: Saban says dealing “with hard” is the key vs LSU

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Alabama v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone. Your LSU at Alabama previews:

LSU’s offense, driven by a variety of skill threats and the mobility of quarterback Jayden Daniels, will eventually overcome Alabama’s gifted scrimmage defense.

Tigers wideout Malik Nabers is 1st nationally with 981 receiving yards and Brian Thomas, Jr. ranks tops in college football with 11 touchdown grabs.

And while the Tigers’ secondary will allow its share of longer gains to go by, the Tide won’t be able to match LSU’s scoring efficiency in the absence of a dominant ground game and its suspect line protection.

LSU wins 34-30

“I’m going to take the home team, take the field goal, and say they win a close one,” Davis said. “It’s not going to surprise me at all if LSU wins, especially if the game starts going up and down. Alabama doesn’t have that on offense in my judgment, but I’ll take Alabama and lay the three.”

The second leg of the revenge tour is here, and the good news for Alabama is the team is at full tilt. The bye week served the team well, and all indications are that there won’t be any significant player limitations. LSU certainly has the offense to be dangerous, but Alabama’s offense likely will score on LSU’s shaky defense. Ball control, hitting explosives when needed and keeping Daniels from becoming equally dangerous in the run and pass are key.

Alabama’s defense in the rush lanes has been a concern, but this year’s inside linebackers (Deontae Lawson, Jihaad Campbell and Trezmen Marshall) are better equipped to chase down Daniels. Another Alabama-LSU classic is coming, and Alabama will ride the home crowd to a narrow win.

Alabama 31, LSU 30.

No. 14 LSU at No. 8 Alabama (-3), 7:45 p.m. (CBS)

Would you believe it if I told you oft-criticized Alabama QB Jalen Milroe is the nation’s eighth-rated passer, one spot behind Caleb Williams? Of course, LSU’s Jayden Daniels is No. 1. The Tide can’t afford to get into a track meet, but I don’t think they will, because Alabama will run the ball a lot and try to limit possessions.

Alabama 28, LSU 24

The pick: Alabama -3

Score prediction

Alabama 34, LSU 31: The Tigers offense could give the Crimson Tide some fits, but Alabama makes enough plays on defense to hold off LSU. The home crowd is the difference as the Crimson Tide all but cements itself as the SEC West winner.

On3’s Andy Staples decided to pick the game alongside Dan Rubenstein, with both of them deciding to take Alabama to cover the spread. Rubenstein presented the case of the Crimson Tide defense being the safe bet, especially playing at home.

“I’m going to roll with defenses in big games,” Rubenstein said during Monday’s episode of Andy Staples On3. “That seems, to me, the easiest way to make money. So, I’m going to go with a good defense at home here… It might be ugly, it’s not going to be a pronounced win.

“But I just don’t think LSU, as strong as they’ve been on offense, is going to go to Tuscaloosa and just drop 39 or something on Alabama.”

“I agree,” Staples said. “Alabama, take the -3.5. Happy to do it. Glad it’s not more.”

Scott Rabalais

Alabama 37, LSU 34

Totally torn over this one. LSU can certainly still win a tossup game at Alabama. But the injuries that have struck an already bruised defense at two vulnerable spots — cornerback and defensive tackle — tip the scales to the Crimson Tide. This game comes down to a handful of plays, and I think the Crimson Tide hits one too many big plays for LSU to overcome.

That last one is from The Advocate. Three of their four panelists took the Tide.

LSU has allowed 6.1 yards per play this year, which ties for 105th nationally with the likes of UAB, Western Michigan, and Western Kentucky. With the injuries that LSU has to an already awful secondary, this will hands down be the worst Power Five pass defense that Alabama faces all season. Quite frankly, if they can’t light up this squad, then they can’t light up anyone.

I choose to believe that they will. Jalen Milroe has shown plenty of ability to hook up with Jermaine Burton and Isaiah Bond on the vertical stuff, and there is no indication that LSU’s patchwork secondary will be able to stop him from doing so. On the other side, LSU’s offense is far too explosive to shut down, but Alabama will be the best defense that they will face all season. If anyone can slow the vertical LSU attack, it’s this Alabama squad with a pair of elite corners outside and outstanding safeties, plus Dallas Turner and Chris Braswell forcing the ball to come out quickly.

The Tide likely won’t be in any hurry on offense in this one, choosing to play to the defense by running the ball against a suspect front seven then going to the deep ball for points. In the end, let’s call it 38-27 in favor of the Tide.

Of course, that is merely my opinion. Vote and give us yours in the comments.


What will be the result of LSU at Alabama?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Brian Kelly mourns with his fay-um-lee after a beatdown, Alabama by 10+
    (288 votes)
  • 51%
    Dogfight to the end, Alabama by 1-9
    (355 votes)
  • 7%
    LSU pulls a mild upset (FLAGGED)
    (49 votes)
692 votes total Vote Now

Nick Saban spoke about the importance of handling “hard” well this weekend.

“I think in games like this, which this is gonna be a tough game. How do you deal with hard? You know, I mean, I think that’s really, really important. And that’s one of the things when I look back on last year’s team. We had a really good team,” Saban began.

“But the last five plays of the Tennessee game and right at the end of the LSU game. We made several mental errors on that last drive. We made a mental error, you know, on their two-point play. So, we didn’t handle hard very well in the two most important games,” Saban continued.

“The biggest games of the year that cost us having an opportunity to maybe go to the playoffs or get in the SEC Championship Game or whatever. But this year’s team, even though we keep trying to get them to play one play at a time through 60 minutes in the game and maintain that intensity, rather than being a little bit up and down in the game. They have handled hard well,” the legendary football coach said.

Nick has been consistently complimentary of this team’s competitive character.

This seems like an odd choice.

Vandy fan? Whatever.

Big Ten coaches are reportedly demanding action on the Michigan scandal.

A vast majority of the Big Ten coaches expressed their frustrations with the ongoing signal-stealing investigation of Michigan in a video call with commissioner Tony Petitti on Wednesday, sources told ESPN.

The call, which took 90 minutes, included nearly an hour without Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who hung up after the regularly scheduled Big Ten business to allow the conference’s coaches to speak freely about the NCAA’s investigation into Michigan.

According to five sources familiar with the call, a chorus of voices encouraged Petitti to take action against Michigan in a call that was described as both intense and emotional.

“Collectively, the coaches want the Big Ten to act — right now,” said a source familiar with the call. “What are we waiting on? We know what happened.”

Harbaugh attorney Tom Mars isn’t impressed.

TCU is looking at being home for the holidays a year after the College Football Playoff committee decided to reward a fluke run of close victories against a suspect schedule.

The Horned Frogs have now lost four of their last five games, including back-to-back losses against Kansas State and Texas Tech. TCU falls to No. 11 in the Big-12 just one season after making the Big-12 Championship game under head coach Sonny Dykes.

The Horned Frogs will need to win two of their final three games to reach bowl eligibility. TCU still has to face No. 7 Texas and No. 9 Oklahoma, which puts any bowl hopes in doubt for the Horned Frogs.

Last, King and Najee faced off last night and both found the end zone in punishing fashion.

Those two beasts having to carry the likes of Will Levis and Kenny Pickett is flat out criminal.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.