Alabama At LSU Game Preview: Everything You Need To Know Before Kickoff
No. 5 Alabama (7-1, 4-1 SEC) at No. 16 LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC)
When: Saturday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. CT
Where: Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Weather: Sunny with a high of 70 degrees and a low of 45, winds NNW at 5 mph, 0 percent chance of rain
TV: CBS (Play-by-play: Verne Lundquist, color analyst: Gary Danielson, sideline reporter: Allie LaForce)
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (Play-by-play: Eli Gold, color analyst: Phil Savage, sideline reporter: Chris Stewart) and ESPN Radio
Spread: Alabama (-6-6½), according to Danny Sheridan. The Crimson Tide has now been favored in 63 consecutive games, starting with its 2009 BCS National Championship Game victory over Texas.
Last Meeting: The No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide broke a 17-17 deadlock with 21 unanswered second-half points in a 38-17 win in Tuscaloosa on November 9, 2013.
Series History: Alabama leads the series, 48-25-5, winning three straight and five of the last seven. The Crimson Tide holds a 26-9-2 record in Baton Rouge and 27-9-3 in the state of Louisiana. (Alabama’s one win outside of Baton Rouge took place in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans.)
The Crimson Tide was up 27-0 by early in the second quarter, let Tennessee cut the lead to as close as 10, then finished them off in the late going to win 34-20 in Lane Kiffin’s return to Knoxville two weeks ago.
Blake Sims and Amari Cooper teamed up for an 80-yard touchdown pass on Alabama’s first play from scrimmage, then did it again from 41 yards out on the next series. Cooper finished the game with a school-record 224 yards receiving, including 185 yards in the first quarter alone.
Tennessee fought back from the deficit thanks to backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs, whose redshirt was burned when the Volunteers inserted him into the game on their third offensive series. Dobbs threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 75 more, the most by a Vols quarterback in 16 years at the time.
But Alabama regained control, starting late in the third quarter and lasting for the remainder of the game to win handily. The Crimson Tide had 469 yards of total offense to Tennessee’s 383.
The Tigers scored took its first lead of the game with just over five minutes remaining and made a late stand on Ole Miss’ final possession to escape with a 10-7 win inside Tiger Stadium.
Ole Miss struck first on Bo Wallace’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Cody Core late in the first quarter but were unable to build on the lead despite four LSU turnovers. The Tigers converted a 21-yard field goal near the end of the second quarter to cut the lead to 7-3 at the half.
LSU sophomore quarterback Anthony Jennings struggled again, completing only 8-of-16 passes for 142 yards and two interceptions. His 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Logan Stokes, however, did prove to be the game-winner.
True freshman Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 113 yards, the third time in five games he has passed the 100-yard mark rushing.
Keep an eye on:
Blake Sims, quarterback: The fifth-year senior had his best road start to date two weeks ago at Tennessee, but can he do it again in Death Valley, arguably the most hostile road environment in the nation? As has been the case throughout this season, Alabama will play at its best when Sims is at his best.
Reggie Ragland, linebacker: He only really began to see significant playing time on defense for Alabama this season, but the junior from Madison has shown few signs of being a rookie starter this season. Ragland, who was named a Butkus Award semifinalist last week, has started to come into his own the past few games for the Crimson Tide and will need to continue that trend to help slow down LSU’s run-first offensive attack.
Anthony Jennings, quarterback: There are few secrets, if any, left to be revealed about LSU’s three-headed monster at running back, but what about the quarterback position? Jennings, like Sims, was once deemed a longshot to ever start at quarterback, an opinion that has since been disproven, but the sophomore has not had nearly the same level of success that the Alabama starter has had this season. A great quarterback performance has been a key component in beating Alabama in recent seasons and it will likely be required again if LSU wants to come away with the victory.
Tre’Davious White, cornerback: To stop Alabama’s explosive offense means to stop Amari Cooper, which has been far easier said than done. Cooper ranks near the top nationally in all major statistical receiving categories, going over the 100-yard mark six times in eight games this season, including two games over 200 yards. An SEC All-Freshman a year ago, White is one of the handful of corners Cooper has faced this year that has the potential to give him a tough time.
- Running back T.J. Yeldon (foot) is probable for Saturday’s game at LSU. Yeldon missed the fourth quarter against Tennessee with a sprained foot and has been limited in practice ever since. Alabama coach Nick Saban said during Wednesday’s SEC coaches’ teleconference that Yeldon will play “for sure.”
- Left tackle Cam Robinson (ankle) is also listed as probable for LSU but, like Yeldon, will also play. Robinson sustained a high ankle sprain two weeks ago at Tennessee and sat out for the remainder of the game following the injury. Saban said Robinson would probably be out for a “couple of weeks" after the injury occurred but on Thursday night during his weekly radio show, the Alabama coach announced that the true freshman has been cleared by a doctor to play against the Tigers.
LSU has no new major injuries to report.