As LSU hosts Alabama in Week 10 college football action on Saturday, two SEC West rivals meet in Death Valley with everything on the line.
Alabama has already suffered one defeat, on the road to Tennessee, and has no room for error moving forward, needing to win out and reach the SEC Championship Game to have a legitimate shot at the College Football Playoff.
LSU comes in with two losses, but is tied for first place in the SEC West and has a chance to get to Atlanta with a win in this game, which is by far the most important of Brian Kelly’s young career.
Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s game.
Preview and prediction for Alabama vs. LSU
- College football picks for Week 10: Alabama vs. LSU
- What to Look For
- When: Saturday, November 5th
- Time: 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT
- ESPN network on television
- fuboTV Stream (Start your free trial)
Betting lines, point spreads, and odds
Point spread: According to the oddsmakers at SI Sportsbook, Alabama is a 13-point favorite to beat LSU on Saturday.
The over/under for this game has been set at 58 points.
Alabama at -568, LSU at +370.
According to the computer that simulates teams’ seasons 20,000 times to predict scores based on previous results and schedules, Alabama has a 76.4 percent chance of defeating LSU and the Tigers have a 23.6 percent chance of defeating the Crimson Tide.
What you need to know about Alabama vs. LSU
Alabama’s wide receiver corps.
Bryce Young leads a talented group of receivers who can generate rhythm in the deep part of the field right away. This season, Alabama has distributed the ball well, with five receivers catching at least 20 passes. In the red zone, the Tide’s most potent weapons are Ja’Corey Brooks and Traeshon Holden. Brooks has the most yardage on the team, while Holden has five touchdown receptions. But keep an eye on running back Jahmyr Gibbs, a capable receiver who can get in space and earn yards after the catch on check downs, and how he can pile up gains on quick developing, intermediate patterns.
Maintaining control over Jayden Daniels.
Good luck with that, because the LSU quarterback has recently been on a tear. He averages 292 yards of total offense per game, which is comparable to Bryce Young’s output, and also leads the team in rushing production – and ranks fourth among FBS quarterbacks with 524 yards on the ground, good for 4.6 yards per carry and 9 more touchdowns. Daniels’ arm is also not bad: he’s hitting 70% of his passes with 12 touchdowns and only one interception. Alabama has a dominant pursuit group at the line and will have to focus its efforts on keeping Daniels from escaping the pocket.
Against the Flow.
Bryce Young has totaled minus-1 yard on the ground in the last five games for Alabama, and the Tide have traditionally beaten LSU by dominating in that phase of the game. Bama has outrushed LSU 546-110 in its last two road games in this series. Despite Nick Saban’s embrace of the modern passing attack, he’ll want to set Jahmyr Gibbs up early against LSU’s talented front seven: he’s rushed for over 200 yards and five touchdowns in Alabama’s last two road games.
— Following a bye week, Alabama is 13-5 (.722) under Nick Saban.
— LSU has won 11 consecutive games when scoring 30 or more points.
— After a bye, the Crimson Tide has held 6 of 18 opponents to 10 points or less.
— Three of LSU’s four victories have come from double-digit deficits, the most since the Tigers’ 2007 national championship team.
— Alabama’s first-team offense has scored touchdowns on 33 consecutive drives, averaging 2:11 game time and 5.7 plays per drive.
— LSU is 4-0 this season after winning 10 straight games when rushing for 200 yards or more.
— Every 55.3 pass attempts, Alabama allows a sack.
— Against SEC opponents, LSU allowed 0 points in 6 of 10 second-half quarters.
— Alabama has only allowed 7 sacks in 8 games (0.88 per game)
— LSU ranks 114th in the country, allowing 3.25 sacks per game.
— Alabama is tied for first in the country with 6.02 yards per rush.
— Both teams have a high number of flags: LSU ranks 100th with 54 flags, while Alabama ranks 130th with 69 infractions.
— The Tide have won 49 of their last 50 games when scoring a touchdown on the first drive.
— Alabama ranks fifth in the nation in third-down defense (26.4%).
— Alabama has scored 40 or more points in 45 of its last 64 games, or 70.3% of the time, ranking first in the country.
Prediction for Alabama vs. LSU
This is why Brian Kelly took the LSU job: he wanted to play the best teams in marquee games and make a name for himself in the SEC.
However, his team has been unpredictable for much of the season. It was punched in the mouth by Tennessee at home, allowing 40 points in a loss, but then put up 40 against Florida and Ole Miss, outscoring the Rebels 42-3 after an early deficit.
Daniels will get some yards on the edges, and LSU’s receivers will be able to consistently test Alabama’s back seven in the early going.
However, Alabama’s front seven will not allow the quarterback to scramble all night as its linebackers and pass rush settle in, and this backfield has the ability to move the chains late.
College Football Headquarters Alabama 36, LSU 27 (prediction).
Rankings of the College Football Playoff
- Ohio State University
- Georgia \sClemson
- Oregon \sUSC \sLSU
- UCLA Ole Miss
- Kansas State University
- Penn State University in Utah
- North Carolina (NC)
- Oklahoma State University
- The Wake Forest
- North Carolina State University
- Oregon State University
- Texas \sUCF