Home » Blog » NCAAF: Alabama visits LSU in SEC Showdown

NCAAF: Alabama visits LSU in SEC Showdown

Should this Saturday’s Alabama – LSU matchup be the national championship game all over again? That is the question many are asking themselves, as the two will face one another on Saturday for the third time in less than 12 months.

The no. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide takes on the no. 5 ranked LSU Tigers on Saturday at Tiger Stadium in Louisiana. The Tide is 8-0 overall, this season and 5-0 in SEC play. The Tigers come in the game 7-1 overall and 3-1 in SEC play. It is the first time the two schools will play in Tiger Stadium when both are ranked in the top 5 in the nation.

In the previous two matchups that took place last season, LSU defeated Alabama in Tuscaloosa 9-6. At the time, LSU was the top ranked team in the country and Alabama was no. 2. However, Alabama avenged the loss with a 21-0 rout over LSU in January at the BCS national championship.

Nick Saban, the former coach at LSU and the current head coach at Alabama beat Alabama four time in five games when he coached the Tigers from 2000-2004. At the time, that was the best record of any LSU coach against Alabama.

However, his replacement, head coach Les Miles, went 3-0 against Alabama in the first three games he coached the Tigers versus the Tide. Miles, since Saban started at Bama, is 3-3, but overall is 5-3 against the Tide and no other coach in LSU history has defeated the Crimson Tide more time than Miles. However, one of his defeats against Alabama was for the national championship.

Everyone who follows NCAA football knows the SEC is the strongest conference in football and the rivalry between the two schools rivals that of Ohio State vs. Michigan, Notre Dame vs. USC and Miami vs. Florida State.

In  2011, LSU and Alabama were one and two in the SEC’s West and it looks as though that will happen again this season. Since 2005, the two teams have won five titles in the SEC West.

Saban believes his team was nervous last season in the regular season game between the two teams and got too revved up for the game. He said lots of energy, motivation and emotion are needed in the matchup but if you go overboard than the anxiety becomes negative and impacts on the performance on the field in a negative way.

Two keys will be big in this game. The winner will own a time of possession advantage over the loser. In the game, turning over the ball will be huge. If a team can maintain control, shorten the game and not make turnovers, it will have a great opportunity to come out on top.

The other key is to score each time you are in the red zone. If you go away empty handed after being in the red zone, it is almost like giving the opposition points. If a touchdown cannot be converted, make sure the field goal is made.

Thus far, in the season, Alabama has made 9 of their 9 red zone field goal attempts. Because of that, the Tide has scored points in all of their red zone trips except one. That leads the SEC at a rate of 97% or 34 out of a possible 35 times.

LSU has missed three times on field goals inside the red zone and the team has converted on 27 of their 34 red zone attempts for a 79% rate. That is far less than the Tide and less than LSU converted last season when they had a 93% conversion rate.

Look for a tough game in the trenches, with the Tide rolling and maintaining their no. 1 spot.

  • 100%