Can LSU beat Alabama? Sure, they can

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Las Vegas doesn’t think LSU has a chance on Saturday night against Alabama.

The Crimson Tide are favored to win the game, despite being on the road. That’s sort-of what happens when you’re the No. 1 team in the country and you haven’t lost since the calendar read 2015.

But I disagree.

Likewise, most of the college football world thinks Saturday’s game will be all-Alabama, as well.

Analysts all over ESPN, Fox Sports and all of the other platforms are all on record as saying that the Tide are the best team in the country and that no one in American can defeat these guys in a 60-minute gain.

Again, I disagree.

I think Saturday’s game between LSU and Alabama will be fierce, physical and the hardest-hitting game in the country.

I concede that Alabama is dominant. Hell, their record speaks for itself.

But am I ready to say that LSU has no chance to beat the Tide?

Absolutely not.

In fact, I think the Tigers have all of the necessary tools in its locker room to find a way to get it done.

The past few weeks of LSU football have been fun – about as fun as the Tigers have been since 2011.

Under Ed Orgeron, LSU has been a team that hasn’t been painstaking to watch. In fact, the Tigers have actually done a couple of things that have made sense – something that rarely would happen under previous coach Les Miles.

And the results have spoken for themselves. The Tigers are 3-0 under Orgeron, and all three wins have come via blowout.

More importantly, LSU has set offensive records in every, single game since its coaching change – a level of productivity that the Tigers have not seen in a long, long time.

But now, we’re going to find out for certain whether the Tigers are for real.

Alabama is the Goliath of college football. They are the program that everyone mimics when trying to find the recipe for success.

The Crimson Tide have won four national championships since 2009, and every, single season they’re in the conversation – even when they don’t win.

This year has been no different. Alabama will enter the game with an unblemished 8-0 record, and they really haven’t been challenged much in the early stages of their season. Outside of a shootout win against Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide have blown out everyone else on their schedule – a dominant run that has many thinking that they’re invincible.

But I’m not one of those people.

See, I actually think LSU matches up well against Alabama, and I think the Tigers are better than Alabama in a lot of areas on the field.

Offensively, Alabama scores a lot of points, but let’s be real – a lot of those points are set up by turnovers and opponents who are so far behind that they have to get out of their game.

I think the LSU defense can attack the Crimson Tide offense. In fact, I will go so far as to say that I don’t think Alabama will have much success at all moving the football.

The Crimson Tide are led by a true freshman quarterback, Jalen Hurts, and, as always, the team relies heavily on its running game. But unlike in years past, Alabama doesn’t have an All-American back, so I think LSU can slow the running game down and force the team into some third down and long yardage situations.

Once that happens, LSU can pounce. The Crimson Tide don’t trust Hurts in the passing game. They know he’s not near a player capable of beating SEC opponents deep down the field. Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin babies Hurts. Something like 70 percent of his passes are thrown behind the line of scrimmage.

That won’t work on LSU. The Tigers have the lateral speed to close those gaps and keep Alabama out of the end zone. I don’t see a world where the Tide moves the ball with ease on the Tigers. I’d be shocked if that were to happen.

So that puts the ball in the court of the LSU offense.

I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the Tigers to have a record-setting day against the Crimson Tide. Those guys are too dominant defensively to allow LSU to push them around.

But I do think Danny Etling, Leonard Fournette, Derrius Guice, Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural can make enough plays to put a few touchdowns on the board.

Assuming that LSU can avoid the catastrophic turnover that Alabama always seems to get, that might be enough to walk away with the win.

Of course, that’s a big if.

But I’m optimistic – more optimistic about LSU football than I’ve been in a long, long time.

And I have Orgeron to thank for that.

Vegas thinks LSU has no shot, nor does anyone else in the country.

But I do.

And I like my alma mater’s odds on Saturday night.

Go get ‘em, boys!

Game on!


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