Alabama Team News

What are Alabama’s keys to success vs. LSU?

Turnovers

LSU is going to be looking for every opportunity to find a way to get a turnover because they need every ounce of help they can get. Tagovailoa is the only quarterback in football with 150+ pass attempts who has yet to throw an interception. Skill and luck both go into that equation, but it’s more skill than anything.

The Tigers are tied for 1st in the nation in interceptions with 14. Something has to give. If LSU is going to win, they’ll need a turnover. Or three.

LSU and Alabama are ranked 5th and 6th respectively in turnover margin.

Getting to Joe Burrow

The LSU offensive line has struggled to keep pressure off of Joe Burrow. When he is in the pocket, Burrow has thrown under pressure over 30% of the time during every game this season except against his last opponent, Mississippi State. While that could be a sign that the LSU line is improving, if I’m Saban, I’m not waiting around to find out.

Getting pressure in Burrow’s face is the key to getting him out of any kind of comfort zone he might feel he has while playing at home. Extra pressure from the line, a blitzing linebacker or corner, could lead to a long night for Burrow and the Tigers line.

I’ll be very interested to see how Saban uses Xavier McKinney in this game. Saban spoke highly of McKinney earlier this week, especially on his versatility in a role that the Tide used similarly with Minkah Fitzpatrick last year. Fitzpatrick was good at blitzing and McKinney may have gained enough trust to be used in similar fashion.

The game is being hyped as another showdown between two top SEC West foes. In reality, Alabama is a heavy favorite on the road because the Tide are probably closer to a three touchdown favorite on a neutral field. LSU has had great success in 2018, but very few teams are capable of lining up and playing with Alabama competitively for 60 minutes. LSU isn’t one of them.

Alabama rolls big 38-13 over the Tigers in Baton Rouge.

(You can follow Justin Nails on Twitter @JustinNails)

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