College Football Pick
Does anyone have a chance against Alabama? That remains the question as the Crimson Tide could end up being better than last year’s title-winning squad. LSU has seen some improvement since Ed Orgeron stepped in as head coach but obviously hasn’t had a test like this yet.
It’s been awhile since the Tigers won in this meeting, 2011 to be exact. But maybe the biggest thing to look at is how close all of the previous Games in Baton Rouge have been. Two years ago, the Crimson Tide needed overtime to win and two years before that it was only a Four-point win. In the last Four meetings in Baton Rouge, the biggest winning margin has been Four points with two overtime Games.
On the other side of that, this Alabama team may be better than previous versions, easily dispatching of most of the top competition in the SEC already. Their last three wins have all been by at least 19 points with two of them on the road and all of them against ranked teams at the time.
As for LSU, this team hasn’t changed much since last season, even with Orgeron as the interim coach. They’ll still run the ball as much as possible because Denny Etling isn’t an elite quarterback. In last year’s Game, Leonard Fournette made it just 31 yards on 19 carries, while they got nothing from the passing Game outside of a 40-yard touchdown. And now with the mobile Jalen Hurts at quarterback for the Tide, their offense is a little more dynamic.
Hurts actually leads the Tide in carries, although that includes sacks. Either way, Hurst has run for 521 yards to go with the trio of running backs led by Damien Harris, who is averaging 8.1 yards per carry. Hurst is not the best passer, but that can be forgiven for now due to his legs. He’s run for 225 yards and Four touchdowns in the last two Games.
LSU’s defense is good, there’s no denying that. But can anyone confidently say they are good enough to stop the ‘Bama ground Game? They couldn’t last year and it’s hard to see them doing so this time around. The Tigers have won their last three Games, but none of those opponents are at the same level as ‘Bama, especially running the ball.
On the other end, the Tigers will need to find a way to score. If it’s like last season and Fournette and Derrius Guice can’t find room, then it could be another long day. Etling hasn’t been terrible at quarterback, he just hasn’t been good or asked to do much. His numbers look slightly better in the last two Games, but that’s also because they’ve had such success behind Fournette and Guice on the ground. If they can’t run the ball once again, Etling won’t be able to pull this offense out of the gutter by himself.
But as said previously, LSU always seems to give a fight in Baton Rouge and going against what seems like an invincible Alabama, they’ll surely come out ready to play. Will that be enough to top the Tide or at least cover?
Our Pick – Alabama has only had one close Game. That was their 48-43 win over Ole Miss. So we know they aren’t perfect. But every other Game this year they have won going away. So why should we try and pick the spot where someone actually give the Tide a fight? Great question, but that’s what we’re going to do here.
While Alabama has won the last 4 in the series, 2 of those were decided by a TD or less. Our numbers show this Game as a tight one decided late. So, we’ll grab the TD while it’s still available with the very live home dog. LSU +7