Friday, November 7, 2008

Alabama-LSU Preview and Prediction



Alabama at LSU
Saturday 3:30 PM
Line: Alab +3

Saban Bowl II and the first trip back to Baton Rouge for the Alabama head coach who brought a title there in 2003. Alabama can clinch the SEC West with a win. The Tigers are looking to salvage what has been a disappointing season thus far.

Keys to the Game:

1. Line of Scrimmage
Alabama has made their living by dominating the offensive and defensive lines thus far. LSU presents the biggest challenge for the Tide on the lines thus far and is big and experienced. Alabama should have DT Terrance Cody back from injury. He is the cog that drives the front seven.

2. LSU QB Play
The Tigers were fighting from behind all game against Georgia after Jarrett Lee threw a pick 6 on the first play from scrimmage. LSU would like to establish their offense with the running of RB Charles Scott. If Alabama is able to slow the run, then LSU will have to rely on Lee and backup Andrew Hatch to throw to a talented WR corps. The Tigers have the protection and receivers to move the ball, but can Lee and Hatch put the ball on the money?

3. Coaching
After last year, I ranked Les Miles number one coach in the SEC. As of now, Nick Saban is running away with that award for this season. This game will have a lot of build up and emotion. Bboth Miles and Saban need to calm their teams and keep them on an even keel. These teams have similar overall talent so coaching will play a huge part. Miles needs some redemption after two blowouts this year. He is at his best when he can be aggressive in playcalling. But so is Saban.

Prediction

Many pundits will talk about the emotion this game has, but all of the trash talk of players and coaches goes out the window the first time you get knocked on your butt. Alabama has really not been truly tested this year by an offensive and defensive lines like LSU has. The biggest advantage for Alabama lies at QB where senior John Parker Wilson has had an exceptional season for the Tide. I think LSU's defense has shown too many holes to overcome a balanced offense like Alabama.

Alabama 34 LSU 27
Alabama Covers +3

Last Week: 0-4 ATS, 1-3 SU
Season: 23-13-2 ATS, 24-14 SU


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