The SEC West hangs in the balance when No. 8 Alabama hosts No. 14 LSU on CBS in a seismic showdown Saturday night. If LSU can stack consecutive wins over the Crimson Tide for the first time since 2010-11, it will have a shot to play in the SEC Championship Game for the second year a in row.
But if Alabama can hold serve at home and get revenge for last season’s 32-31 overtime loss to the Tigers, it will be one step closer to clinching the division and potentially reaching the College Football Playoff. These teams have played some thrilling games over the years, and it’s only fitting that the stakes are so high for the last meeting before the SEC scraps its divisional format for 2024 with the additions of Oklahoma and Texas.
The Crimson Tide have rattled off six straight wins since falling 34-24 against Texas on Sept. 9 and played some of their most impressive football of the season in a 34-20 win over Tennessee during their last game before a bye in Week 9. The Tigers also enter off a bye and should be feeling confident after amassing 159 points during a three-game winning streak that has helped resurrect their conference title hopes.
Alabama vs. LSU: Need to know
Jalen Milroe vs. LSU’s secondary: Alabama’s offensive strength sets up well against LSU’s defensive weakness. The Tigers are tied for 103rd nationally in average yards per reception allowed at 12.8. Opponents such as Ole Miss and Missouri have exposed their pass defense. Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe thrives in the downfield passing game and may be able to take advantage of those vulnerabilities. Over Alabama’s last three games, Milroe has completed at least one touchdown pass of 45 or more yards as the Crimson Tide have menaced opposing defenses as receivers Jermaine Burton and Isaiah Bond have begun to flourish.
Jayden Daniels for Heisman: Though Milroe is excellent at throwing the football downfield, there is no question that the quarterback edge entering the game belongs to LSU. Jayden Daniels leads the nation passer efficiency with a mark of 204.3. He is tied with reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams of USC for most touchdown passes at 25, despite playing one fewer game than Williams. LSU’s two early losses relegated Daniels to a Heisman Trophy longshot, but he deserves to be in the conversation. A monster game against the Crimson Tide on a national stage would serve as rocket fuel to his chances.
Establishing the run: It will be fascinating to watch how dedicated these teams are to establishing the run. In last year’s meeting, Daniels finished with more rushing attempts than all of LSU’s running backs combined, while Alabama attempted 51 passes with quarterback Bryce Young. The Tigers have been effective on the ground in SEC play with Logan Diggs, but Alabama’s run defense is flying high after limiting Tennessee’s rushing attack to its second-lowest output of the season two weeks ago. If the Crimson Tide are able to run successfully on LSU like Ole Miss did in a win over the Tigers back on Sept. 30, then it could make up for LSU’s edge in quarterback play.
How to watch Alabama vs. LSU live
Date: Saturday, Nov. 4 | Time: 7:45 p.m. ET
Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium — Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Alabama vs. LSU prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
The weather is expected to be beautiful on Saturday at Alabama as these explosive SEC West title contenders tangle. Alabama will take advantage of the calm skies to air it out on LSU’s vulnerable secondary, and the Tigers will counter with the nation’s highest-rated passer in Jayden Daniels. Both quarterbacks are also skilled at running the football when things break down. Both defenses will struggle to get off the field on third downs, and points should be expected on almost every possession. Pick: Over 60.5
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