Staff Predictions for Alabama vs. LSU
Alabama heads to Death Valley to take on an opponent that looks much different from Week 1. The Crimson Tide is coming off a bye week, which has given Nick Saban and company an ample amount of time to create a game plan to slow down the LSU Tigers and their rushing attack. Now it will be time for the players to execute that game plan.
Let's take a look this week's predictions from the staff members and their thoughts about this marquee matchup.
Ryan Fowler (Host of "The Game")
For Alabama, every game means possible elimination. When you break this game down, there a lot of areas that could go either way. I think this game comes down to QB play and Blake Sims has the edge over Anthony Jennings in most statistical categories. Sims is no doubt the difference in this game. Alabama’s defense will also be a huge factor in this game and will force Les Miles to take risks with Jennings. Alabama 28 LSU 17.
Chris Stewart (Host of "The Chris Stewart Show")
Timing is everything in life, and in football. The LSU team that Alabama will face is MUCH different from the one that Auburn faced a month ago - just as the Texas A&M team that South Carolina faced was infinitely different from the one that the Tide hosted three weeks ago.
But while the Tigers are vastly improved, it won't be enough. As long as Blake Sims takes care of the football, Alabama will take care of business. Alabama 28, LSU 17
Ryan McMunn (Executive Producer)
Game of the Century: Part.... whatever it is now, I've lost track. This game will be one of the best games on television Saturday, and could be one of the best games of the year when all is said and done. Night games in Death Valley are never easy, and LSU seems to have found a little confidence in the past couple of weeks. Alabama is coming off a much needed bye week, which gave some time for integral players like T.J. Yeldon and Cam Robinson to heal up and possibly be ready for Saturday.
The one area of the game that everyone needs to keep an eye on is when Alabama chooses to run the ball. LSU is giving up almost 160 rushing yards per game, and we all know that Alabama is known as a run first team. If LSU continues that trend, then the Tide will have no problem. However, emotions will be flying high and the Bayou Bengal defense will live up to the challenge. In the end, Alabama will score last, and it will be just enough to edge out Les Miles and his grass eating self. Alabama 27, LSU 21
Trey Brooks (Producer)
LSU is getting better every week. Their run game is scary and their defense is much improved from earlier this year. This all spells upset. However, I made my bed earlier this year that Alabama would be a 1-loss SEC champion. Too late to go back now. So, I'm going against my better judgement and saying the Tide pull this out, but I'm far from confident on this one. Alabama 24, LSU 20
Kevin Connell (Contributor)
In two out of the three previous trips Alabama has made to Death Valley under Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide came away with wins -- barely. Needing touchdowns to win it, the Crimson Tide scored improbably in overtime in 2008 and again in the last minute in 2012 in what were season-saving -- and season-defining -- victories. LSU might not be quite at the level this season it's been in recent meetings, but it's certainly still good enough to give Alabama a game, especially when it's playing in front of this environment. Alabama 27, LSU 20
Ben George (Digital Managing Editor)
A brutal November schedule begins with a night game at Baton Rouge. Blake Sims will have his biggest test of the year against the conference’s 2nd stingiest defense and it will be played inside one of the nation’s toughest venues. The key for Alabama will be stopping the run and making LSU rely on the pass. In three games this season, the Tigers have passed for more yards than they’ve rushed for. Two of those were losses and the third was a comeback win over Wisconsin in the opener. I’m looking for another slugfest between these two teams with Alabama finding a way to win late. Alabama 27, LSU 21