By Michael Hicks
Nick Saban will go to Baton Rouge for the first time as Alabama’s coach. Saban has downplayed the impact of his return to ” Death Valley â€ and focused on the game.
“I know there are going to be a lot of people, who want to talk about this game, and I am going to say it again, this game is not about me,” Saban said.
Alabama is looking to lock up the SEC West and earn a trip to Atlanta in December, while LSU is trying to save its season, having lost two SEC games to Georgia and Florida so far.
LSU comes into the game with a strong running game with Charles Scott averaging 6.7 yards per carry and 11 touchdowns. The Alabama defense is second in the nation allowing opponents just 2.6 yards per carry and 65.6 rushing yards per game. The Tide will also have 365-pound nose tackle Terrance Cody back from injury.
Alabama comes in with a strong running game of its own. Freshman Mark Ingram and Junior Glenn Coffee have combined for 1,427 yards and 15 touchdowns on 230 carries behind arguably the best offensive line in the nation led by left tackle Andre Smith.
The Tigers defense has been underachieving so far this season. The defensive line led by DE Tyson Jackson and DT Ricky Jean-Francois has been limited by injuries and lack of depth. Inside Linebacker Darry Beckwith is back healthy, which will help the Tigers against Alabama â€™s strong rushing attack.
Look for Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson to have a good game against a very weak LSU secondary, who is giving up 228.5 passing yards a game. Wilson had 234 yards and three touchdowns against LSU last year in a 41-34 loss.
This Alabama is team is on a mission this season and will not let up against LSU. Once the emotion of Nick Saban returning back to the Bayou is gone, look for Alabama to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The running game for the Tide is just too strong for LSUâ€™s beat up defense front and with Terrance Cody coming back the Tide will be able to shut down Charles Scott. John Parker Wilson will not be asked to do much but Alabama â€™s receivers have the edge against the Tigers defensive backs. Nick Saban will get the win against his former team and stay unbeaten.
Alabama 31, LSU 17