LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (9) celebrates after running for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Tiger Stadium.

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Garic: It’s now or never for LSU vs Bama

Kristian Garic
November 08, 2019 - 11:29 am

Saturday, when No. 2 LSU battles No. 3 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, will be the moment LSU fans have longed for.  It will also be the moment Alabama fans hoped would never be. Finally, LSU has a team that can match Bama. Coach Ed Orgeron spent three years constructing a team that can potentially beat the Crimson Tide. 

LSU has the talent and schemes to win. If the Tigers don’t topple Bama Saturday, it might not ever happen. The Crimson Tide are a fantastic team…that much we know. However, this year’s Alabama isn’t what we’re used to seeing. The dominant defense that Alabama boasted in the past isn’t so dominant. The Alabama offense is one that keeps defensive coordinators up at night.  Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is coming off ankle surgery and insists he will be ready to go come 2:30 p.m. Saturday. 

Tagovailoa is lighting up opposing defenses this year. He’s passed for 2,166 yards, delivered 27 touchdown passes to just 2 interceptions.  LSU’s trigger man has even more impressive stats.  Burrow has thrown for 2, 805 yards, 30 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

Let me clear my throat. Joe Burrow put up those numbers against much better competition than Tua, but don’t let facts get in the way of a good argument.

Alabama played just one team ranked in the top 25. LSU has played and beaten three top 10 opponents.

LSU offensive game plan: Establish the run! Sounds cliché, but it’s true. If LSU gets the ground game cranked up, quarterback Joe Burrow’s job against a very good Bama secondary becomes a lot easier. I suspect there are few disruptions the Tigers have saved specifically for Nick Saban and company. If the Tigers aren’t having success early with the deep passing game, they need to stay with it. Keep taking shots, eventually Burrow will connect. 

LSU defensive game plan: Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s work is cut out for him as he tries to contain this high flying Crimson Tide offense. Alabama can match LSU’s skill players on offense. The Tide receiving corps feature three guys for sure that will play on Sunday in the NFL. The Tigers need to get after Tua early in the game. Aranda probably wants to test that surgically repaired right ankle of Tagovailoa early with some pressure. Stopping the run will be a big part of any potential success for LSU’s defense.

Prediction: I am on record saying LSU is better and should be ranked higher than Alabama. I stand by that. This very likely will turn into a shootout. The team that steals an extra possession will win this game. Special teams could very well decide this game with a big kick or punt return. LSU 34 - Alabama 30.  Yep, the eoght-game losing streak to Alabama ends Saturday.  President Donald Trump will be on hand at Bryant-Denny Stadium as Coach O adapts his slogan and makes LSU football great again. 

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