As the Tigers prepare for their biggest task of the season against the Alabama Crimson Tide, it’ll take a gutsy performance from Daronte Jones’ defense to slow down the high-powered offense of Nick Saban’s group.
Offensively, the Crimson Tide will be led by Heisman front-runner Bryce Young. The sophomore quarterback has hit his stride as this offense is clicking in virtually every way after their surprising loss to Texas A&M.
Young’s sophomore campaign has been nothing short of spectacular. Ranking third in the nation with 26 passing touchdowns, his dual-threat ability is what keeps defenses on their toes every snap.
This unit is putting up 45.9 points per game (2nd in FBS) while averaging nearly 500 yards each contest. Dominating in both the passing and run game, it’s a difficult one-two punch to slow down.
Running back Brian Robinson Jr. has been a bright spot for this offense. With a majority of pressure going towards Young, it’s opened up this run game tremendously. Totaling a whopping 13 touchdowns while rushing for over 700 yards, Robinson’s success sometimes gets overlooked, something LSU must monitor.
The secondary of the Tigers is significantly banged up, but will have to bring their A-game against this talented receiving corps of Alabama. Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams leads the pack with 35 receptions for 710 yards and 6 touchdowns and will be the main focus coming into Saturday night’s primetime battle.
Yes, Williams is one of Young’s most consistent targets, but their speedster John Metchie III is someone to monitor all night. Once in the open field, he’s virtually unstoppable to bring down, sprinting passed defenders at ease.
With Young hitting his elite targets on offense along with Robinson Jr. handling business on the ground, it will be a tall order for this defense, but not impossible. The Crimson Tide’s offense resembles that of Ole Miss led by Matt Corral.
Like Corral, Young has that electrifying game style that can deflate opponents in the blink of an eye. If Coach Orgeron and his staff build off of what they learned in Oxford, there is a chance it could translate in Tuscaloosa.
Texas A&M proved this Alabama team is beatable. Limiting their chunk plays and controlling the clock will work to the Tigers benefit if done correctly.
Defensively, the Tide are led by edge rusher Will Anderson. A menace to all offenses he’s faced to this point, Anderson leads the country with 8.5 sacks. His sheer strength and quick, twitchy movements at the line of scrimmage are what make him so difficult to stop when facing opponents.
Alabama’s inconsistency in the secondary has been something teams have looked to exploit all season long. With Tennessee capitalizing on multiple explosive plays through the air against this Crimson Tide squad, it gives hope to Max Johnson to try and get back into a rhythm after a rough trip to Oxford a week ago.
Needing to keep the passing game flowing, it’s something Jake Peetz and this offense has a chance to use to their advantage. With Jaray Jenkins and a talent-rich freshmen wide receiver class breaking out of their shell, the passing game will be a focal point Saturday night.
With balance on both sides of the ball for Nick Saban’s reloaded squad, it’ll be a tough task for this LSU group. Limiting explosive plays by Bryce Young and capitalizing on all offensive opportunities against a stout defense, the job is not impossible in Tuscaloosa.