Several keys for Tigers entering Alabama game
BATON ROUGE -- How do the No. 4 LSU Tigers take down college football’s No. 1 team in the country?
That question seems to be the topic du jour this entire week leading up to the most hyped game of the NCAA season so far, as the Tigers play host to the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday night in Death Valley.
According to most pundits, the Tide is simply too much for any team in the nation, including the “overachieving” Tigers (determined by how LSU was supposed to perform this year). In fact, as of Tuesday, Alabama was a two touchdown favorite over a team that has three top ten wins this season.
Everyone out there believes in order for LSU to have any chance of pulling off the upset, the Tigers must slow down the vaunted Crimson Tide offense that averages 54.1 points per game and their superstar quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. No doubt, the Tigers will need to scheme up something special in hopes of holding Alabama to half of those points.
Leave no doubt, the Tide will get theirs on offense.
But, one thing is overlooked; there is more than one way for a team to stop another’s offensive explosion beyond a total, dominating defensive effort. By holding possession of the football, LSU not only gives themselves a chance to put points up on the board, but it keeps the ball out of the hands of Tagovailoa and the rest of the Crimson Tide’s offensive weapons.
That means several things for the Tigers. First and foremost, LSU must be able to establish a semblance of a running game. That does not mean that they have to rush for 200 yards, but they must be balanced enough to keep the Tide defense guessing.
Secondly, quarterback Joe Burrow must have time to get the passing game going. LSU ranks near the bottom in the SEC when it comes to pass protection, allowing 2.25 sacks per game. In both the running and passing game, the offensive line must step up and bring a yeoman’s effort to the field two nights from now.
Finally, the LSU receiving corps must be on their game. Dropped balls cannot happen. When there is a play to be made, the Tiger wide outs have to be bigger than they have every been this year.