Staff Predictions for No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 2 LSU
The last time out, Alabama needed a touchdown drive in the final minutes to beat Tennessee and keep the championship goals alive. This week, the Crimson Tide gets its toughest test of the season against Leonard Fournette and the second-ranked LSU Tigers.
Oddsmakers made Alabama a 6.5-point favorite despite the fact that it's looking up at LSU in the rankings. This game features the top two rushing defenses and the top two running backs in the SEC so it will be strength on strength.
It's been a challenge to predict what we'll see out of Alabama from game to game this season, but our staff is ready to take another stab at it.
Barry Sanderson (Host of Inside the Locker Room)
I think whoever wins the kicking game will come out on top. Look for JK Scott to be a big factor in the field position game. Alabama 20, LSU 16
Wimp Sanderson (Host of Inside the Locker Room)
Look for a ball control game and both teams playing conservative. I see it being a slugfest in the trenches. Alabama 9, LSU 7
Gary Harris (Host of The Gary Harris Show)
Like most of these Bama - LSU games, I expect this one to be decided in the fourth quarter. Bama makes a play to win it late and keep its SEC and national title hopes alive! Alabama 24, LSU 20
Chris Stewart (Host of The Chris Stewart Show)
This game is so evenly matched, that the potential for bad weather really doesn't give anybody an edge. I think it's still a matter of who handles it the best. Another classic Bama/LSU matchup. Tide hangs on to win a close one. Alabama 24, LSU 20
Ryan Fowler (Host of The Game)
Leonard Fournette gets a welcome to Bryant-Denny Stadium from the best defensive front seven in college football. Fournette gets his yardage, but Derrick Henry will have more rushing yards at the end of the game. Jacob Coker will have a solid day and protect the football vs. LSU.
Rushing yards: Henry - 145 yards and 2 TDs, Fournette - 115 yards and 1 TD
Alabama 28, LSU 17
Ryan McMunn (Producer)
The Game of the Century of this Season is this Saturday. Get ready, it's going to be a good one.
LSU isn't just a running team, simply relying on the legs of all-everything running back Leonard Fournette. They are actually one of the most efficient passing teams in the nation, although they've thrown the fifth fewest passes in the country thus far. Get this stat: the Bayou Bengals are one of only three teams in NCAA college football that hasn't thrown an interception yet, and that includes the Division I, Division II, and Division III teams. That's impressive, no matter how you slice it.
Bama's front seven should be ready for the challenge of containing Fournette, but let's be honest: in the kind of weather that is suppose to grace Tuscaloosa on Saturday, Fournette will get his stats. However, Alabama is more balanced on offense and has the slight edge in the special teams department, and that'll be the difference in the game. Alabama 17, LSU 13
Kevin Connell (Contributor)
Alabama has been far from great at home this season. LSU is the closest thing to great the Crimson Tide will play at home this season.
It appears something will have to give.
As has often been the theme in this series, that will happen in the trenches. It almost goes without saying, but the Crimson Tide’s Derrick Henry and the Tigers’ Leonard Fournette should play key roles in this matchup.
Earlier this week, Nick Saban said the obvious when he noted that Alabama-LSU has had some great games in recent years. If he isn’t already, he should expect another memorable one Saturday. Alabama 20, LSU 19
Ben George (Digital Managing Editor)
Although Alabama hasn't played its best football inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, there's plenty of motivation to get things rolling on Saturday. The Crimson Tide gets the rare opportunity of playing underdog (at least by the rankings) and that's a role Nick Saban has thrived in. Throw in the the comments made by many people around the country that Alabama doesn't deserve a top-4 ranking and this team will be playing with a chip on its shoulder. Alabama 27, LSU 13