Alabama (8-0, 5-0) at LSU (5-2, 3-1)
When: Saturday, November 5th 2016
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: CBS
The Alabama Crimson Tide will play their final road game of the season on Saturday when they visit the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge. The Tide are seeking their 21st consecutive victory and sixth in a row over the Tigers. Alabama is ranked number one in the first BCS poll of the season as they close in on another SEC West title. Alabama has scored 12 non-offensive touchdowns (nine on defense, three on punt returns) this season and have the fourth-ranked total defense in the country and tops against the run. They will have to overcome the loss of senior safety Eddie Jackson (broken leg), who has three of Bama’s non-offensive touchdowns and averages 23.0 yards a punt return. The defense is still in good hands with senior defensive end Jonathan Allen leading the way with six sacks to raise his career total to 24, one behind second-place Kindal Moorehead (1998-2002) on Alabama’s all-time list. Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts has accounted for 20 touchdowns (11 passing, nine rushing), sophomore running back Damien Harris has a team-leading 697 rushing yards and sophomore WR Calvin Ridley has 43 receptions for 504 yards and five scores.
The Tigers are 3-0 since coach Ed Orgeron replaced Les Miles after the loss to Auburn in late September. The offense has found new life with the return of running back Leonard Fournette as well. He set a school record with 284 rushing yards in a 38-21 victory over Ole Miss two weeks ago going into a bye week. Fournette has rushed for 670 yards and five touchdowns despite a three-game absence and will look to have a better game against Alabama than he did last season when he had just 31 yards on 19 carries. Sophomore Derrius Grice is also running well with 621 yards and seven touchdowns while junior quarterback Danny Etling has thrown for 1,129 yards and seven touchdowns against three interceptions. The Tigers are allowing just 15 points per game – which ranks fifth nationally right behind Alabama – with sophomore outside linebacker Arden Key (team-high eight sacks) and senior middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith (team-leading 69 tackles) leading the way. LSU finishes up their regular season with a brutal stretch that includes Arkansas, Florida, and Texas A&M.
LSU is playing much better since Orgeron took over and Fournette has healed, but two of those games were against Missouri and Southern Mississippi. I can’t believe that Alabama is only laying a touchdown in this game even though it’s on the road in a very tough place to play at night. The Tide are just too good right now. I think Alabama rolls again.
Pick: Alabama -7.5