jimmydafreak's Blog

Darth Saban vs. The Mad Hatter

By jimmydafreak | View all Posts
Posted Thursday, November 03, 2011 08:40 AM   122 comments

In the sea of opinions out there on tv and the internet, I’m not sure anyone really cares about mine, but I’ll give it to you anyhow.

I love how both fan bases are so confident their team will win.  That’s exactly how it should be.  The shit-talking before the game is half the fun.

I have been posting about this game on Blankets since January when I did a fairly detailed preview of both Alabama and LSU.  I said back then that Alabama and LSU would be the best two teams in college football.  I said this game would pretty much be the “Game of the Year,” and that it would decide the SEC & national championship.  I reiterated that in my Alabama pre-season write-up.  Thus, the magnitude of this game has not taken me by surprise in the least.  I’ve also been consistent in saying that I think with this game being played at Bryant-Denny Stadium, you have to give the edge to the Crimson Tide here.

I will not delve into statistics because stats are like bikinis; what they reveal is interesting, but what they conceal is vital.  Once you jump into the stats rabbit hole, you can never get out.  It provokes endless and pointless debates about how this team has faced better defenses and that team has face better offenses yada, yada, yada.  I think we all know that the stats are very even across the board coming into this game, so I don’t think the stats are very probative in analyzing this matchup.  I think the most misleading stat I’ve seen thus far is that LSU ranks 117th in the nation in red zone offense.  Honestly, if you are betting Alabama off of that stat, you deserve to pay off your bookie.

There is so much I could write about this game, but I’ll try to keep it relatively short, by focusing on what I see are the three biggest differences between these two teams - the QBs, the defensive front 7s and coaching.

I’ve read and heard many times over the past two weeks how Alabama and LSU are pretty much mirror images of one other.  That is not really the case.  While it is true that both teams have a smash-mouth, establish-the-run type of mentality on offense, the defenses are quite different.  One is a quick penetrating defense (LSU), and the other focuses on eating up blockers and gap control (Alabama).  I have said several times that the matchup between Alabama’s offense and LSU’s defense reminds me very much of the Alabama/Texas national championship game.  The make-up of LSU’s defense is very, very similar to that Texas defense.

The heart and soul of both offenses is the offensive line.  Both are talented, experienced and deep.  Both offenses attack you with a power running game.  LSU features Spencer Ware who loves to mix it up between the tackles.  .  Michael Ford comes in to spell Ware.  He is also is also a big back but is a little bit more explosive, and more of a home run threat.   LSU also features FB James Stampley.  This guy won’t get many carries, but he is a road-grader.  OC Greg Studrawa likes to use him like as a sledgehammer by pounding on opposing defenses until they break.

Alabama, of course, features the strongest and most powerful RB in college football in Trent Richardson.  When OC Jim McElwain is giving him a blow, Alabama will bring in another bruiser in Eddie Lacy.  Alabama’s third backfield bruiser is Jalston Fowler who could also see a few touches.  The three of them do a great job of breaking the will of opposing defenses by relentlessly pounding on them.

Defensively the biggest difference I see is that one defense is built from the ground up to stop the run, especially power running teams like LSU.  Saban’s entire defensive philosophy is centered around stopping the run, and he specifically recruits players for that purpose.  First and foremost, to play for Saban you must be physical in the run game regardless of what position you play.

All defenses want to stop the run, and LSU’s defense is no exception.  They just approach it in a different manner.  LSU features a small but very fast and athletic front 7 with elite pass rushers coming off the edge.  They try to disrupt the running and passing games by getting penetration.

Because Alabama (3-4) and LSU (4-3) run different defensive schemes, a player-by-player comparison of the front 7s is really apples and oranges.  Therefore, to give you an idea of how these two front 7s measure up, I will compare the size of both to the NFL average for each defensive scheme.

Avg NFL DL

4-3 Defense - 6-3, 291 (LSU - 6-5, 274)
3-4 Defense - 6-4, 307 (Bama - 6-3, 305)

Avg NFL LB

4-3 Defense - 6-2, 244 (LSU - 6-1, 218)
3-4 Defense - 6-2, 252 (Bama - 6-3, 253)

Avg NFL Front 7

4-3 Defense - 6-3, 271 (LSU - 6-3, 250)
3-4 Defense - 6-3, 276 (Bama - 6-3, 275)

I have said many times, Alabama’s defense is the closest thing to a NFL defense you will find in college football in terms of size, scheme, talent and coaching.  From the comparison of the measurables above you can see that what I’m talking about.  The measurables of Alabama’s defense is a virtual mirror image of a NFL 3-4 defense.  Conversely, you can also see that LSU’s defense is a good 20 lbs lighter than a typical NFL 4-3 defense.  See also:

The Defense That Went to Fat Camp

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203476804576615132832620902.html?grcc=88888&mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_sports

LSU will primarily run power out of a pro set, but they’ll also try to counter Alabama’s size advantage by slipping in a few zone reads, jet sweeps, and mis-direction plays from the spread.

Alabama will basically do what they always do which is bring the hammer.  That is the best way to attack a small, fast defense.  LSU is determined to not let Trent Richardson win a Heisman Trophy on their watch so I expect to see them sellout to stop the run.  They’ll play bump-and-run coverage against Alabama’s wide receivers; something LSU’s coaching staff feels very comfortable doing.  They believe they have the advantage with their outstanding corners going mano-e-mono with Alabama’s receivers.  LSU wants to the impetus of this game on AJ McCarron’s shoulders.   Alabama will do several things to counter that, one of which will be to go to a 5-wide formation with RBs and TEs split out wide so they can get WRs Marquis Maze, Darius Hanks, Kenny Bell and DeAndrew White matched-up on LBers.  In fact I’ll make a prediction now.  I’ll say that Alabama will run their first offensive play out of a 5-wide set.

The quarterbacks have been a topic of much discussion, and for good reason.  This is the position that scares Alabama backers the most, and is the source of much optimism for LSU backers, and for good reason.  If LSU is going to win this game, I think they’ll need to pressure McCarron and force him into some mistakes.

LSU features two elite pass rushers coming off the edges in Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo.  Also watch out for true freshman Anthony Johnson.  That guy is going to be a monster!!!  Mingo will be lined up across from Alabama RT DJ Fluker.  Fluker is an absolute road grader in the run game, but is very susceptible to the speed rush, and that’s not good when you’re going against Mingo.  I think Alabama will try to counter that by having a back or TE chip on him.  That, however, pulls one of McCarron’s targets out of the passing game.  McCarron also rarely makes plays when he’s flushed from the pocket.  When defenses can get him on the move, good things rarely happen for Alabama.  That’s one of the reasons I’ve consistently supported QB Phillip Sims over McCarron.  Sims is a tremendous playmaker on the move, and is deadly accurate.

McCarron is the most talented QB of all the QBs that will see playing time in this game.  He has a huge arm, can make all the NFL throws, and is very accurate.  McCarron prefers to chuck the ball downfield, but OC Jim McElwain has pulled the reins in on him and has force him to throw more to check-downs so far this season.

The biggest question about McCarron is how he’s going to handle the pressure of this game.  Yes, he’s played in a couple of high-pressure road games at Penn State and Florida, but he’s never played in a game approaching this magnitude.  Word is he has been climbing the walls all week in anticipation of showing the world what he can do, and the coaching staff has been trying to calm him down a bit.  Personally I believe McCarron will pass his test on Saturday, but only because this game is being played at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  If this game were being played at Death Valley, I would really like LSU here.

LSU will feature the 2-headed monster of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson under center.  Normally a two quarterback system is a big red flag, but LSU has made it work for them so far.  Lee is the personification of a game-manager.  He’s not going to scare you with his talent, but he’s the perfect quarterback for this offense.  He makes good reads, puts the team in the right plays, and doesn't turn the ball over.  Lee has only one interception this season to go with his 13 touchdowns, and leads the conference in passing efficiency.  Jefferson has provided a nice compliment, primarily with his mobility and ability to run the zone read.  Working Jefferson into the mix forces teams to spend time preparing for both, and has given the offense another dimension.  Both of LSU’s QBs are experienced and have big-game experience.  That said, they will have a very rowdy crowd to deal with on Saturday.  Neither will hear a thing the entire game while under center.

I’ve heard and read where many have said that this game will come down to turnovers.  I tend to disagree.  Alabama and LSU are two of the very best teams in the nation at protecting the football, so I expect to see few, if any, turnovers.  If there are turnovers, I think Alabama will get the better of it.

I have said many times that Alabama is the most powerful team in college football at the point of attack, and that I don’t think any team can play smash-mouth football with them for 4 quarters and come out on top.  Alabama is the biggest, strongest and most physical team in the country, and much like the game 2 years ago at Bryant-Denny stadium, LSU will simply not be able to match Alabama’s physicality for 4 quarters.   I think that will translate into Alabama’s offense being able to establish a balanced attack and move the ball rather effectively against LSU’s vaunted defense.  Conversely I think Alabama’s defense will use their size, strength and physicality to take away LSU’s power running attack, and make LSU’s offense somewhat one-dimensional.  I really don’t think LSU will be able to consistently drive the length of the field against Alabama’s defense.

Lastly, I think coaching will be a huge factor in this game, and there is no better big-game coach than Nick Saban IMO, especially with revenge.  See:

Nick Saban does revenge like The Godfather

http://blog.al.com/kevin-scarbinsky/2009/12/hard_to_fool_saban_two_straigh.html

No one handles rematches like Nick Saban

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/10/no_one_handles_rematches_like.html

My prediction is that as the final minutes of the 4th quarter tick off the clock I expect a frenzied Bryant-Denny crowd to break into the familiar “OVER-RATED” chant as Alabama puts the exclamation mark on a double digit win.  I believe the final score of this game will look similar to the to the game they played two years ago in Tuscaloosa.  I’ll call it . . .

The Crimson Tide 24

The Swamp Kittens 13
122 comments
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ryan8186 says:
11/03/11 08:41AM
I think you meant LSU was 117th in red zone DEFENSE.  As they are number 2 in the country in RZ Offense.  They have only not scored once all year.

All in all, probably the best/fair write up I have seen, although I don't agree with your outcome, very well done.


Torreny3 says:
11/03/11 09:46AM
Jimmy....great write-up bro always love to get your take on the Bama games. I locked them up at 4-1 to win a grand before the season started, so this is a huge game for me. Probably won't touch it only for that reason. Best of luck to you, I think you're on the right side.
jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 09:48AM

Thank you Ryan.

Yes, that should have said red zone "defense."  Alabama's defense ranks 1st in the nation, and LSU ranks 117th.

WhoDatWinDat27 says:
11/03/11 09:51AM

Score prediction should read this.......

The TIGERS of LSU  34

The Crimson...Tried  20

LOL BOL my friend.........

shark_apreza says:
11/03/11 09:56AM


nice  write up
BigTenWatto says:
11/03/11 09:57AM

Wow, I agree with Ryan, very detailed write-up. I love it, although I disagree with the outcome. Alabama will probably win but, it will be by a FG. This is a classic FG game. 24-21, 17-14, something like that.

Again, nicely done.

paris says:
11/03/11 09:59AM
Great write-up. I like reading your posts. Good luck buddy!
Tappy says:
11/03/11 10:07AM
Jimmy.... I am a guy, and I want to have sex with you!!!! FUCKING EPIC WRITE UP my friend! 

I have said many times that Alabama is the most powerful team in college football at the point of attack, and that I don’t think any team can play smash-mouth football with them for 4 quarters and come out on top.  Alabama is the biggest, strongest and most physical team in the country, and much like the game 2 years ago at Bryant-Denny stadium, LSU will simply not be able to match Alabama’s physicality for 4 quarters.   I think that will translate into Alabama’s offense being able to establish a balanced attack and move the ball rather effectively against LSU’s vaunted defense.  Conversely I think Alabama’s defense will use their size, strength and physicality to take away LSU’s power running attack, and make LSU’s offense somewhat one-dimensional.  I really don’t think LSU will be able to consistently drive the length of the field against Alabama’s defense. - This is what I have been saying... The more physical team wins this game... We find the balance on offence from AJ taking what the defense gives him, managing this game well, and taking pressure off the run. I think defense will have trouble at times with Lee and Jefferson, but this will come early like all the teams we play. As the game goes on, we get them figured out, and we eventually shut them down. That run defense will step up, and as you said LSU will be forced to go one dimensional. 




SportsGamester says:
11/03/11 10:30AM
Great write up jimmy but on the other side LSU 20 Bama 17
jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 11:55AM

Yeah, this is a huge game for those of us who have Bama futures.  After LSU, they should pretty cruise the rest of the way.

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 12:01PM

I'll post some links to some of the best stuff I've seen on the internet about this game.  The following was written by a LSU fan, but is a great read.

A Team Worth Hating

http://www.andthevalleyshook.com/2011/10/31/2527372/a-team-worth-hating

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 12:04PM

Here is the newest from LSUFreak.  If you have never seen this guy's work, you should check him out.  Everything he puts out is awesome!!!

Les Miles Live!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9tq0IbYWt8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 

D-Town says:
11/03/11 12:16PM
Good luck Jimmy.  
bob696969 says:
11/03/11 12:53PM

..... so the question becomes, is there value on taking alabama +150 or LSU +250 to win the national championship at this point?

tidefan07 says:
11/03/11 12:55PM
Great write up JDF.....You touched on a point I am counting on for a win that I had a discussion with last night with another poster Jose Reyes who saw it also....that is the crowd noise...no doubt in my mind LSU qb's Lee and Jefferson are both extremely talented and bring two different attacks that BAMA will have to prepare for....but you have to look back and ask yourself..." when this year have they been in a stadium where the opponent had a Defense of this caliper and can confuse the hell out of you with looks.....against Oregon.....neutral field....West Virginia....LSU jumped them from the start and the crowd was a non-factor....NO DOUBT LSU has talent and will score....but I like my chances like you said playing at home...not a homer play....just like my odds here....BOL this weekend!

ROLL TIDE!
BravesFan1984 says:
11/03/11 01:16PM

On the tide

GL freak

fts1409 says:
11/03/11 01:40PM
Nice writeup Jimmy.  As I'm sure you are aware, Saban is 13-3 ats in revenge spot vs SEC opponents. My apologies if you referenced that.  GL.  Can't wait.
jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 01:51PM

I not only referenced it, I supplied two links on that very subject.

Nick Saban does revenge like The Godfather

http://blog.al.com/kevin-scarbinsky/2009/12/hard_to_fool_saban_two_straigh.html

No one handles rematches like Nick Saban

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/10/no_one_handles_rematches_like.html

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 01:58PM

This is not as good as my write-up,  but it's still pretty good ESPN article by Will Harris nevertheless.

LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama is favored by 4.5 points
TeamRankings win odds for LSU: 36 percent

LSU is an outstanding, well-coached team with a top-flight defense and a powerful running game. Unfortunately for the Tigers, this game doesn't really have much to do with them. Alabama is a championship team on a championship mission, and LSU is simply in the way.

We've been beating this drum all year, but Alabama's defense is absolutely not "one of" the best in the country. It is not simply the nation's best in 2011, but rather a once-in-a-generation defense. That's not hyperbole. It's also what we should expect given the Crimson Tide's perfect set of circumstances. The sport's top defensive coaching staff in terms of both scheme and technique is, in its fifth year, at the very pinnacle of its recruiting and player development machine.

The Alabama defense was a top-five unit last season with a lineup full of newbies. This year, with experienced, fully developed and uber-talented upperclassmen manning nearly every spot on the two-deep, the Tide stop unit is setting a new standard. When elite coaching combines with elite talent and maximum experience at an elite program with unlimited resources … well, that's exactly how once-in-a-generation defenses are made.

Add in the nation's best offensive line and backfield duo, and you have a championship-caliber team. The home-field advantage will also be unprecedented, as this will be the loudest and most intimidating crowd in Bryant-Denny Stadium history. LSU's defense is fantastic, but its reckless style relies on rattling the opposing offense, then feeding on the resulting turnovers and miscues -- mistakes that an experienced, disciplined and prepared Alabama team simply will not make at home.

It also must be mentioned that the Crimson Tide seem to be playing for a bigger purpose. It's difficult to judge the precise impact the tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa this April has had on this football team and its focus and preparation throughout the season, but it is undoubtedly significant.

LSU is a very fine football team, but nothing points to a failure this weekend for Nick Saban's program. In the most hyped game of the season, Alabama will leave no doubt.

The pick: Alabama 31, LSU 3

Tappy says:
11/03/11 02:22PM
Love that...
dolyman says:
11/03/11 02:27PM

I seemed to have found the bammers homer thread

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 02:57PM

Only people who know the secret handshake are allowed in.

 

Laroja says:
11/03/11 02:58PM
lol @ 31 to 3.
jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 02:59PM

Another awesone article, especially if you're a Bama fan

How Alabama Became College Football's Greatest Team

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/11/how-alabama-became-college-footballs-greatest-team/247750/

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 03:00PM

Yeah, that's crazy talk.  I think LSU will score at least 6!!! 

 

Lucan says:
11/03/11 03:04PM

That final score is about right on and i understand if people don't believe it...but LSU is lucky to score in this game.

Sorry people who call us homers, we know our team better then you.

One thing we can't control is a turnovers, they just happen when ever...if looking back at Mark Ingram who went like 600+ carries before he fumbled in the Iron Bowl last year. Which helped Alabama lose the game. You take that back and Auburn would have lost. Turnovers kill period...

It happens nobody can stop it, but then again it may not happen.

It would be the only black eye i see that could happen if LSU comes out with a victory. It's the only thing we can't rule out.

Other then that Alabama is going to weep some ass, and i mean big time too.

Take no prisoners, this is for the coaches, the players, the fans, and the fans that passed away in the distruction T-Town as gotten from Mother Nature. RIP BAMA FANS

Motivation at it best, this will be a great game if you're a Bama fan or capping Alabama other then that LSU fans and Alabama haters need a back up plan and exit the TV or game itself, with plan B.

For the rest of the day, or they can hang around and watch the beat down.

I mean beat down also, stat wise or any other and a blind person is the only person that can't see this coming.

Like i said before this is the perfect storm...for Vegas they know theres so much hate for Alabama all they have to do is set the bait and they have hook and sinker.

I know my Pre Game/ In Game has some humor in it but it breaks up the tention for a minute with fun on my part or other Alabama fans.

I have respect for every man/women on this site but when it comes to the truth whether its Alabama or LSU to and i have got to be truthful about the outcome.

LSU fans say IF...

Alabama fans say they are going to win...

Thats the diffence between us and them we don't have any doubt.

FOR OTHER MATCH UPS, it may be different down the road but for this game Alabama will show the football nation. This is their year and nobody is standing in the way.

Alabama will lose so many players for the NFL draft i don't think they will repeat this task in 2012.

Enjoy the game.

Roll-Tide

 

TRAIN69 says:
11/03/11 03:09PM

Theres no way in hell you were gonna be on LSU. I didnt need to read 2 pages to figure that out. 

 

bol Jimmy

jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 03:17PM

So glad I didn't disappoint.   If I really thought LSU would win, I would say so, but I've been saying since January that Alabama would win this game, and I have seen nothing that would remotely sway my thinking.  Alabama is the better team and they're playing at home.  Plain and simle.

  BOL with your card this week Train.

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 05:30PM

Alabama has a lot of depth so they'll still be very competitive.  Their biggest problem will be that the schedule flips on them next season.  Arkansas, LSU & Tennessee will all be on the road.

ROLL TIDE Lucan!!!

 

 

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 05:47PM
I want to share an off-the-record quote from a very prominent Alabama coach (won't mention his name). He said this today BTW. He said "LSU might score a couple of touchdowns, but it won't be nearly enough."
chadpatt59 says:
11/03/11 07:14PM
Normally love you analysis and picks, but going against u on this play.. LSU wins straight up.. Feel like they r they better team this year.
Guy_2U says:
11/03/11 11:05PM
Amazing write-up Jimmy!

What do you think about the common opponents stats?

LSU

10/15/11 @TENN W 38-7

10/08/11 FLA W 41-11

Tides

10/22/11 TENN W 37-6

10/01/11 @FLA W 38-10

jimmydafreak says:
11/03/11 11:45PM

I can guarantee you that I will be in the stadium screaming like a champion!!!

collectNOW says:
11/03/11 11:54PM
Good stuff freak
sportsbetter1 says:
11/03/11 11:57PM
Good Luck !! Great writeup ROLL TIDE!!!!!
hintonbears says:
11/04/11 12:06AM
really like alabama and the over in the game.. the total has dropped dramatically since the public is pounding the under.. also the majority on lsu.. better coach better team
jimmydafreak says:
11/04/11 12:12AM

I am really warming up the OVER as well.  I think this game is more likely to be a decisive Alabama win than a close game.  It would not surprise me at all if Alabama gets into the 30s.

 

Laroja says:
11/04/11 12:17AM
I've seen both teams play and I seriously doubt that Alabama will beat Lsu by 2+ TD's. This is a game that will go until the end with Alabama pulling it out by maybe a TD+. LSU's defense as some of you have stated, comes from the edge with quickness to make big players. Alabama doesn't want to evade LSU, the Tide will run straight at LSU and wear them down with their size and physicality. I don't know how you guys are seriously endorsing 31-3 alabama. LSU will load 9 in the box to stop the run and let's face it, Alabama's WRs will have trouble against LSU's secondary. Maze will not match up well with Claiborne. And assuming Alabama does blow LSU out, then there's no reason to bet Alabama for the rest of the season and possibly even the bcs championship. The lines will be too inflated.
hintonbears says:
11/04/11 12:23AM
yeah i agree jimmy ill be on alabama tt over 22.5 as well
FriedShrimp says:
11/04/11 12:42AM

Fantastic writeup.  Agree with almost all of it except for couple missed points.....

Fire & Confidence............. This LSU is one badass group of muther freakers and they know it.

They also play very smart and patient and relish an underdog role.

That being said, agree with RJ in other thread that Lsu is "fools gold" but............... and it defies physics, but LSU is gonna win.  Public wins again

gambling-devil says:
11/04/11 12:48AM
Fuck it, I was leaning LSU all week
I am tailing you buddy

BAMA for 8 units

(hand-shake)
jimmydafreak says:
11/04/11 12:56AM

I think Alabama's offense will be able to move the the ball on the ground and through the air, and I'm pretty sure LSU's offense won't be able to.  If LSU insists on crowding the LOS with 8 or 9 guys, I think McCarron and the receviers will have a very big day.  If they don't crowd the LOS, their front 7 will get steamrolled.  Basically they are damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

While I think Alabama clearly has the better offense, and clearly has the better defense, I have never endorsed a 31-3 score in favor of Alabama.  My score prediction is 24-13, but it would not surprise me at all if Alabama gets into the 30s.

LSU has thrived all season on turnovers and short fields.  They won't be able to count on that in this game.  Alabama will not turn the ball over in this game.  Accordingly, LSU will be forced to drive the length of the field which I don't think LSU can do consistently.  I think if any team benefits from turnovers and short fields in this game, Alabama will be the benefactor.  As I stated in a different thread, I am willing to wager any Covers poster that Alabama will not lose the turnover battle in this game.

The Alabama/Auburn game will probably be my only "Max Bet" of the season.  Whatever the number is, lay it.  Alabama will cover it.

K4ngur13 says:
11/04/11 12:58AM
jimmydafreak says:
11/04/11 01:01AM

I'm pretty sure you won't regret it.

SportsGamester says:
11/04/11 01:39AM
That ESPN article by Will Harris was hilarious  31- 3 with an unproven big game rookie QB against this defense!

LSU is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Alabama.

LSU is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing Alabama.
jimmydafreak says:
11/04/11 08:44AM

Normally I would just post the link to an article, but that was an ESPN Insider article so I had to copy and paste it.

I didn't think it was anything wrong with the article, he just concluded it with a rather bold score prediction.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion I guess.

As far as the statistics you cite, they are about as relevent as an 8-track player in a Pinto.  There have only been 3 remotely relevant games between Alabama and LSU (the last three), and Alabama is 2 & 1 in those games, and 1 & 0 in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

222bad says:
11/04/11 09:08AM
      Liked Bama from the get go in this game, jimmy and seeing you're so confident about the turnover situation, like it even more. The only way, IMO that LSU's wins or covers is if they win the TO battle. The Penn St game, earlier in the year, and  how you called it spot on's enough for me to trust your call on this one also.  Haven't read the whole thread word for word so wondering what your take on the total is.  Myself I thinking low score and under.  You called the Penn St game's final score so close, again I trust you insights, feelings, on this game.  BOL and Roll Tide.
jimmydafreak says:
11/04/11 09:44AM

Several posters were saying that Alabama would not cover the Penn State game because the Nittany Lions would feast off of all the turnovers Alabama would commit in a hostile environment.

Recall that Alabama had turned the ball over 5 times the previous week against Kent State.  I said then that betting on Alabama turnovers was fools gold because Alabama would not do it in Happy Valley.  I went on to say that I would wager any Covers poster that Alabama would not lose the turnover margin in that game.  Nobody took me up on the wager.  Alabama went on to win the turnover margin in that game 3 to 0.

LSU has lived largely off of turnovers and field position, but I believe that they will die by the lack of it in this game because I don't think Alabama will turn the ball over.  That will force LSU's offense to drive the length of the field - something I don't believe they can do consistently against Alabama's defense.

Again, like the Penn State game, I will wager any Covers poster that Alabama will not lose the turnover margin in this game.

Even though my final score prediction is 24-13, if I bet the total, I would probably bet the OVER.  With a total of 41, I think the value is in the OVER.  I could easily see a scenario where Alabama gets into the 30s here.

 BOL this weekend bad!!!

 

 

atl4tigerfan says:
11/04/11 10:27AM
Not a bad write up Jimmy but no matter how hard you try to be objective and take the homerism out of your views it's impossible to do. That is not an insult, it's just a reality.

You are making some huge assumptions with these statements

"LSU has thrived all season on turnovers and short fields. They won't be able to count on that in this game. Alabama will not turn the ball over in this game".

Alabama has thrived all season as well on turnovers and short fields. Odds are they won't be able to count on that in this game either.

And why won't Alabama turn the ball over? You say that so matter of factly. Well, Alabama hasn't played a defense like LSU's just like LSU hasn't played a defense like Alabama's. To state either team will or won't turn the ball over is just dart throwing. You have no idea if Alabama will cough the ball up or not. It's very possible they have turnovers, considering in the 'stats' if you want to rely on those shows LSU clearly has the turnover ratio edge.

If I was to error on the side of who wins the turnover battle, I would clearly lean towards LSU.

You and the rest of the fanbase also have put a lot of stock in your untested QB. Please spare me the death valley roadtrip. AJ hasn't faced a tough situation all year long. Well he will get his chance to prove one way or the other on Saturday, that is for certain. And I have no doubt as other posters have mentioned that LSU will crowd the LOS and play a lot of man to man. So we'll get to see if he can make those throws or handle the pressure situations, as most believe LSU secondary has an advantage over Alabama WRs. That in my opinion is the huge wildcard in this game. If he steps up, bama wins, if he crumbles, lsu wins.

Wood says:
11/04/11 12:56PM
OMG LSU is going to put 8 or 9 guys at the LOS and try to make McCarren beat them..You think this will be the first time T-rich or Lacey has ever seen an 8 or 9 man front? You think this is the first time an opposing team has had this exact gameplan? Let me guess, it will be the first time they've seen an 8 or 9 man front the caliber of LSU right? Alabamas rush defense held Ridley to 3.8 ypc in last years game( on 24 carries), I don't see LSU having that much success vrs this years Tide defense. LSU has the better quarterback play, but I see LSU being to one-dimensional on offense for that to overcome other deficiencies..With all that being said, I will probly be on Bama ML -185 instead of laying the 4.5-5 points. I thought this line would trend down as it got closet to kickoff?
nostradamus12 says:
11/04/11 01:11PM
nice writeup, looks similar to 09 matchup...seem to recall 24-15, BOL jimmy
jimmydafreak says:
11/04/11 02:46PM

Thank you ND!!!

I also think it'll be very much like that game ND.  That was a game where Alabama's physical dominance was not reflected on the scoreboard.  I think this one could play-out much the same becasue Alabama will physically dominate this game.

 BOL with your card this week ND!!!

 

joeale says:
11/04/11 05:18PM
hintonbears says:
11/04/11 05:19PM

jimmy 5dimes is offering corso to pick alabama at +200 is this a mistake?

Thanks man

jimmydafreak says:
11/04/11 06:10PM

Interesting.  Where have you heard this???

 

waltertaylor24 says:
11/04/11 06:31PM
I think you are crazy to think alabama gets into the 30's and to think that alabama's offense is better than lsu's. Alabama's wrs are no match for our secondary.  There is no way they will light up the passing game.  I believe Richardson will get to a 100 but McCarron will struggle to move the ball.

LSU 27
bama 13
jimmydafreak says:
11/04/11 08:35PM

I have an ex-wife and some ex-gfs who think I'm crazy too, so you have some company.

 

Lucan says:
11/04/11 09:05PM
timdogs17 says:
11/04/11 09:43PM

Jimmy-  Much Much respect. I stopped watching ESPN and read your analysis in dept. I leaned LSU + 5 all week. I have seen the best cappers on this site ( of course in my opinion) without naming names on BAMA.

   I'm taking BAMA and the over        .              

-29- says:
11/04/11 10:07PM

If LSU insists on crowding the LOS with 8 or 9 guys, I think McCarron and the receviers will have a very big day.

 

 Why?

You don't believe that the Tigers are better suited more so than any other team to play lockdown man coverage for the 3 or 4 seconds that it's going to take to either sack A.J. or make him get rid of the ball?

 

 

LSU has lived largely off of turnovers and field position, but I believe that they will die by the lack of it in this game because I don't think Alabama will turn the ball over. That will force LSU's offense to drive the length of the field - something I don't believe they can do consistently against Alabama's defense.

 

 You are not taking into account the huge advantage that the Tigers enjoy at the punter position. Brad Wing is currently 5th nationally in net punting (41.8 ypp).The Tigers will not need turnovers to gain the field position advantage in this one. 'Bama's the team that will likely have to try to go the length of the field for a scoring opportunity. LSU also has the better kicker which also lends itself to less yardage needed to get into scoring position. 

Dolphan says:
11/04/11 10:14PM
Love this thread
CapitalGains says:
11/04/11 10:52PM

Outstanding write-up and analysis.  I totally agree with you.  I posted the exact score for the outcome of the game in another thread.

http://www.covers.com/postingforum/post01/showmessage.aspx?spt=33&sub=101170528

Great minds think alike!  Roll Tide!

hintonbears says:
11/04/11 10:59PM

booked a small play on it earlier

ronwoodjzs says:
11/04/11 11:10PM
GREAT POST  Thanks Jimmy
jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 12:05AM

If I played the total, I would play the OVER, but the total scares me.  I think that is a pretty sharp line.

As for laying the points with Alabama, I feel pretty good about your chances.

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 12:22AM

X and O all day long but what is the psychological makeup of these teams?

jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 12:22AM

As to your first point, you are confusing the term "receivers" with "wide receivers."  Two of Alabama's biggest threats in the passing game are RB Trent Richardson and TEs Brad Smelley and Michael Williams.  I think Alabama has a significant matchup advantage with their TEs locked up against LSU's diminutive LBers.  If LSU sneaks both of their safeties into the box as they like to do, expect some big plays out of Smelley and Williams down the middle of the field.

I agree that LSU has the better punter in this game, but I have taken it into account.  I said in the beginning of my write-up that there was much I could write about, but for the sake of brevity I would focus on what I thought were the most salient issues.

I believe that LSU will need to score in the 20s to win this game, and I believe the only way they can do that is to generate some turnovers.

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 12:25AM

  BOL with your card tomorrow!!!

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 12:26AM

I don't really think either team has a psychological advantage.

 

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 12:27AM

what if LSU is more "physical" than Bama?

does that blow the Xs and Os out the door?

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 12:31AM

That is a problem

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 12:33AM
It's only the most important component in sports.
jwheels86 says:
11/05/11 12:48AM


If you had to pick one it would have to be LSU as of now because of what they have been through this year on the road and all the off field garbage. Bama has a lot of guys that were there and won a Championship too though so...
FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 12:57AM

This LSU squad has seen a lot........... and grows every week.

And last year was even more dramatic.

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 12:58AM

Fans were basically booing JJ all year long........ and Les.

 

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 12:59AM
This Bama game in terms of psychological relevance is only maybe a 4 on the scale compared to all of last year.
FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:01AM

And the team got thew that........ and have been ON POINT since.

Bama is much more fragile.

And it's gonna show on the field. 

LSU knows what to do.

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:01AM
And is gonna as ESPN says "Execute" better.
FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:04AM

The team has handled a shitty QB and a shitty coach for years.

Self Motivated now............ GAme on.

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:08AM

And throw in a dose of just plain and simple Louisiana badass........... And it's over.

Can X and O all day long.......... but Bama is about to get beat at every position.

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:10AM
The Bama OL is scarier than fuck................ But Chavis is cook something up.......... GUARANTEE LSU players EXECUTE better.
FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:12AM

They are badass mofos.......... and all on the same page.

 

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:14AM
Another thing you have not brought up is Hilliard............. true freshman............. Dump truck.
FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:18AM

And just forget about vertical on LSU............. not gonna happen.

If even go there, LSU will be there.  Of balls being in the air more than 15 yards, LSU has more interceptions than receptions allowwed.

 

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:20AM

It's a defensive pride thing.  Just not gonna happen.  Will give up a shallow slant or something but nothing medium or long. 

The team is outta control fast back there.

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:23AM

LSU is like 3 teams in one.............. and among all the bullshit.  The defense puts their foot down and says......... Nope.

We'll ride it out until offense can catch up.

But this year, offense caught up........... and Bama ain't the only team in the land with an OL by the way.

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:31AM

And instead of getting pissed on the offense, the defense just figured out how to score.  This has been going on for years.

It's not "luck"........... it's practice.  It's what they do to accomodate a non offense.

And when they take the field......... they scope ball opportunities.

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:33AM

Look at the HOneybadger........ does he even tackle?

Hell no.......... he's running QB on ball stripping.

He's got tackling help back there.

 

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:34AM

These guys are athletic as hell. 

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:36AM

If want to go the "physical" angle.............. put the entire LSU team through an NFL combine vs Bama and let me know who is more "physical"........... not even a close one.

Lucan says:
11/05/11 01:51AM

GL      Fried Shrimp

If you think McCarron is shitty and Saban is shitty you don't know jack shit about Alabama other then your own spectulations...

psychological >

I believe that would fit both teams, are each could atleast make an argument on the psychological side since it covers a wide range of feelings and thoughts.

I don't think you're mind could be changed nor an Alabama backers come tonight. This battle is hours away from making you right or wrong. But what i'm still seeing is LSU backers or still trying to get comfrimation they or right because back in some little corner of their mind this coming to an end soon for LSU.

Everybody wants to talk about the matchup of the Alabama WR up side the secondary of LSU. Which most likey will be one on one since LSU will most likely stack the box.

This is not Revis Island Alabama is going against.

Alabama WR Bell is the fastest WR he is from Rayvillie, LA.

You will see two TE at once with Williams and Smelly, crossing patterns..etc. with Hanks and Maze. You will see play action passing with Richardson and Lacy, and deep balls with Bell, Gibson, Jones and Norwood.

Now people or trying to say not one of these players can beat LSU's secondary 4qts.

Remains me of a song:

I LIKE DREAMING

You won't to know the psychological side of motivation its for the 50 + people who dead in T-Town from the tornado. One of which was an Alabama players girlfriend, and thats just for starters because the list is long.

The psychological pertaing too: is revenge which Saban is 14+.

This could go on and on, you saying this me saying that.

So we all meet back up at the end of the game somebody is going to eat crow...

"Rolling with the Alabama Crimson Tide"

 

 

Lucan says:
11/05/11 01:55AM
And Please nobody blame a ref...
FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:57AM

Shitty QB and Coach was JJ and Miles.

Didn't think you'd intercept that.

Saying LSU defense can handle ANYTHING.

Even those crossing patterns with that fast guy.

Vegasbuster says:
11/05/11 01:58AM
LSU is 2nd in the Nation in TO Margin: 1 int and 2 fumbles total. They don't put the ball on the turf or throw picks.

Saban is NOT a great coach with 2 weeks to prepare. At Alabama he is 2-2 (1-2 vs LSU), and he was 3-2 at LSU in his 5 years there. 5-4 overall coming off a bye coaching at LSU and it shows he is at his weakest here.

Miles conversely is 2-1 vs Alabama coming off a bye vs Saban and 4-1 total in his career at LSU coming off a bye.

Someone said this: 2 weeks is not enough time for Saban to prepare for what Miles doesn't know what he will do.

Pundits are saying that LSU will not be able to run the ball vs Alabama, but in the last 4 matchups, LSU has outgained Alabama on the ground in 3 of those; including a 225 to 102 advantage last season. Sure, people will say that Bama's defense is much better than last season, but the same could be said for LSU's offense this season. LSU had a pathetic O last year and had 430+ yards last season.

I just can't see Alabama doing much in the passing game to the outside WRs. The only hope passing are the dump off to TR releasing late out of the backfield, but this won't be enough to keep LSU's D honest.

LSU's STs, especially at punter, are better than Alabama's. Brad Wing of taunting, took back my TD fame, is probably one of the top punters in the country as a freshman. LSU has given up only 7 yards on PRs all season, and I believe those came when Wing was out for 2 games earlier in the season. In the first half it'll be a battle, and if we are exchanging punts back and forth, LSU will gain anywhere from 10-15 yards per exchange. You know both coaches are desperate to win the toss, defer and force a 3-out to get the + field position early in the game. Neither team will consistently put long drives together so the team which wins the field position battle will be the team which will come out ahead.

As for LSU's lightness along the DL. It would be a factor, especially in the 2nd half if they didn't have much depth. However, LSU will roll 4-5 DTs back and forth throughout the game and mix up the DEs when down and distance dictates it.

If Lacy is slowed by the toe injury, it'll all fall on TRs shoulders. He can't win it by himself, and I don't think Alabama has the WRs to give him the support.

LSU 27
Alabama 17
FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 01:59AM

And ya......... it is Revis island he's going against.

Maybe worse.

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 02:02AM

How many receptions has Claiborne allowed this YEAR?

Can't even think of 1 (1) ONE.

FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 02:05AM

Jimmydafreak did an excellent writeup

And not trying to trash his thread but LSU is a bunch of badass mother freakers and that shit simply don't apply.

Everything about to get flipped from the get go.

Lucan says:
11/05/11 02:06AM

You are funny thats one thing i will give you.

ksuwins says:
11/05/11 02:07AM
I don't make a habit of betting against jimmydafreak.  Contrary, I look for his plays to find games to get with.

This game is uncanny in it's even-steven look.  I think that unless you are a pro on both teams, you are simply gambling  and hoping.  If I gamble this game, which I likely will (because I love the entertainment factor in this one) I will take the points and LSU.  I will have almost zero confidence in my bet, but whatever. I will NOT lose my shorts on this one. 

In my opinion, this game clearly showcases the best two teams in the country.  OU falls behind both...and the rest of the country is a step behind OU.

Take note...whatever team faces either of these teams in the NC game will get rolled. 
FriedShrimp says:
11/05/11 02:07AM

TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vegasbuster says:
11/05/11 02:13AM
jimmy.. Sorry for posting my stuff in your thread. I moved it to a separate post.

GLTY.
phancard says:
11/05/11 02:15AM
on lsu +5, this should be fg or less type of game. good luck this week freak
slickrick says:
11/05/11 02:15AM

I'm late to the game on this, but would like to also applaud you for a fucking amazing write-up. This is honestly one of the best I've ever seen. Thank you for taking the time to do it. Some extremely good info in here.

Nice work.

jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 02:25AM

Contrary opinions are always welcome in my thread VB, so you have nothing to apologize for.

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 03:06AM

What are your thoughts on Kansas and KSU this week.  I like Kansas to cover the 2 TDs against they Cyclones this week.  Should be a high scoring affair.

  BOL with your card this week KSU!!!

jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 03:07AM

Great to see you PC!!!  Best of luck with your card this week!!!

jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 03:10AM

Thank you Slick Rick, and all the others posters who had kind words.  I just don't have time to respond to every post.

jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 03:19AM

I have addressed most of this in this thread already, but I will comment on the receivers.

What everyone seems to be missing here are Alabama's tight ends.  That is something LSU has not seen a lot of this season.  Brad Smelley and Michael Williams will put pressure on LSU's LBers and Safeties in the middle of the field.  I think both will have opportunities in the passing game.  I also don't think the matchup between Alabama's wide receivers and LSU's secondary is as one-sided as many portray it be.  I think Alabama's wide outs will make their share of plays too.

 

ksuwins says:
11/05/11 03:25AM

I like KU though I haven't bet them straight up yet ( I've teased them up in some low-dollar action).  ISU is in a let down spot...but man...KU is horrible.  I expect them to score enough to cover.  I also like the KU team total to go over 23.

KSU- I'm on OSU -21, but I'm not real solid on it.  Contrary to what I've posted in prior weeks (I've been dreading this game and I figured OSU would roll it up- but I didn't expect the 2nd half pasting OU laid- KSU's offense could be quite sharp tonight), I've backed off a bit.  The past two have been decided by 6 total points.  Not a great game to bet, as it turns out.  I missed my first KSU bet of the season last week.  The problem is, if you're a stats monster, everything points to OSU.  But that was the case in the last two.  I'd go light on OSU and look at the OSU team total around 46- going Over.  I'm on OSU and rooting like hell for my team.

Tease OSU down or tease KSU up...this line looks pretty damn good.  Let's look for greener pastures in coming weeks.
jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 03:31AM

Yes, I know Kansas' defense is dreadful, but I also think they can score enogh to stay competitive in this game.  As bad as they've been this season, they may actually be glad to be playing on the road.

I flirted with taking KSU, but hionestly I just don't have the balls.  Okie Lite has been a covering machine!!!

 

bookieassassin says:
11/05/11 04:51AM
was hoping to come here and see a .....Bama will win by 5 TD !.....I guarantee it !!!!....kinda thing.....

boys the Freak is right.....Bama is the play here
     *nothing at all wrong with taking the points in a low scoring game like this one though 

Bama has the better coach.....the better offense.....the better DEFENSE.....the best player......and is playing at home......with revenge
    
Confusion here arises from all the media driven crap following LSU ..but maybe deservedly so...as they have been very impressive....
     *question > dontcha think Bama woulda beat up the Ducks....WVag.....and Miss St ?......would WV have gained 550 yds or so on Bama ?....hell yes and then no

while sure the question...... will McCarron rise to the challenge?...... is huge....a better one is.......
How will the smallish speed based D of LSU.....stand up for 4 quarters ......vs the Bama steam roller?

the leading tacklers for LSU?......1st 3 are DB's....in fact 5 of top 7 are DB's ....that means offenses are getting to the 2nd.....and 3rd levels....much more than they should
fine vs the Ducks and Florida maybe....not good here

KEY?.....Bama is loaded with MATURE......NFL ready players.....(*14-15 or so)....the team with the wacky coach and funny nicknames is fun to watch and talk about.....but not ready for this action ...........................maybe
      *for 2012 draft...more later.....LSU maybe 6-7....
8/10 top draft ready players play for Bama....

* interesting stats.....
LSU led the nation in starting field position LY.....and so far this year...
 Bama averages 7.2/rush.....in the 2H

AJ seems to get worse....as they move down the field.....and also .....as the game progresses
inside own 20 > 80%
own 20 - opp 40 > 65%
opp 40 -20 > 85%
RZ > 47%/133 PR.....

1st quarter > 70%
2nd > 67%
3rd > 65%
4th > 56%

BUT ...that Jarrett Lee......
inside 20 > 100%
20-own 40 > 53%
40-40 > 63%
40-20 > 74%
RZ > 67%/285 PR

1st quarter > 55%
2nd > 69%
3rd > 65%
4th > 65%

                    

jwheels86 says:
11/05/11 04:57AM
Anyone betting this game is just gambling, if I win my POY bet on Gators early I might consider it.
jimmydafreak says:
11/05/11 10:32AM

No, Alabama will only win by 4 TDs!!!

JK!!!  Great post!!!  BOL to you today!!!

 

kram2292 says:
11/05/11 11:27AM
This is not a statistical or analytical post. Bama wins because they are BAMA!!!!!!!!!!!ROLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LSU22 says:
11/05/11 03:28PM
Best of luck homers...I have been looking forward to this game last four weeks and even more so when OK lost to TT. LSU/BAMA are the top two teams with the rest of BCS a distant third and beyond. Wish this game was in the swamp which give BAMA the nod in my opinion, but have my money +5 on LSU. Tight game and Miles is lucky...

GEAUX LSU!!!

-29- says:
11/05/11 11:49PM

I'm waiting for your spin.     

 

 I have never bumped a thread like this before but with your tone of absolutism I am genuinely interested in your reaction to 'Bama once again losing toi LSU at home. I mean according to you the Tigers had no shot, and anybody that suggested otherwise was quickly dismisssed by you. So what went wrong? 

waltertaylor24 says:
11/06/11 12:37AM
Gene-Chizik says:
11/06/11 12:41AM
I just wanted to pop in and say hi

I enjoyed our bye week this week and hated to see our cross town rivals get beat.
dytide says:
11/08/11 03:25AM

Always enjoy your write-ups and would really like to hear your opinion of what you saw Saturday night...

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/09/11 10:47AM

You evidently have some serious reading comprehension issues, because I never said anything remotely close to what you are saying.  I note that you cite no examples, nor can you.

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/09/11 10:49AM

Ahhhhhhh the schadenfreude of a rival.

 

jimmydafreak says:
11/09/11 01:31PM

Saturday was probably the most amazing party I've ever seen or attended.  I've been to a lot of football games, but nothing comes close to what I experienced Saturday.  It was unbelievable!!!  The weather was perfect, and I even met a couple of Covers posters out there who got to see Jimmydafreak in rare form!!!  Alabama losing the game, however, was probably the biggest buzz-kill of all time.  Had Alabama won, the party on the quad would have probably continued until 5 in the morning.

One of the most frustrating things in gambling is when you cap a game correctly, but lose the bet.  With the exception of giving the coaching edge to Saban, that was pretty much the case here.  Miles and his staff out-coached Saban's staff for the second consecutive year, and at this point you would have to say that Miles is the best coach in the SEC.

While Kirby Smart's defense was as dominant as expected, Jim McElwain's (who I have consistently criticized on Covers for the past 2 years) offense once again tried to get too cute at critical times, and Alabama's offense couldn't capitalize on multiple scoring opportunities - any one of which would have put this game out-of-reach.  You simply cannot leave that many points on the field and expect to beat a team like LSU.

Everyone knew going in that LSU had the advantage in the kicking game, but some of Saban's inexplicable decision-making exacerbated that advantage.  Playing field position against an offense that had been rendered completely one-dimensional by his defense would have made a lot more sense than trotting an erratic long-range FG kicker who had little chance of success.  They could have played 8 quarters and LSU would not have scrored a TD on Bama's defense. 

Here were the key moments in the game as I saw it.

**  Jordan Jeffereson.  LSU had no chance of winning the game with Jarrett Lee under center.  When it became apparent that LSU could not run up the middle, and that any pass they threw downfield was just as likely to be caught by someone wearing a crimson jersey as a white & gold one, LSU began attacking the perimeter of Alabama's defense with Jeffereson in the run game and had some success.  Jefferson also had a couple of critical scrambles.

**  On 3rd and 8 from the LSU 17, McCarron overthrew Hanks in the endzone.  What many probably missed was that Brandon Gibson was all alone for an easy, uncontested TD.  And even though McCarron threw to the wrong guy, Hanks did have a step on his guy.  Had McCarron threw an accurate ball to Hanks, it still would have been a TD.  That lack of execution cost Alabama 4 points.

**  Unnecessary block in the back by Josh Chapman on Mark Barron's interception.  The guy Chapman blocked in the back had no chance of making a play on Barron.  That idiotic penalty gave Alabama the ball on the LSU's 35 yard line instead of the 3-yard line.  That potentially cost Alabama 4 points.

**  Just prior to Morris Claiborne's crucial interception, RT DJ Fluker stepped on Trent Richardson's foot.  That prevented what would have been a huge run by Richardson.

**  The play of the game, of course, was Marquis Maze's 4th quarter pass to TE Michael Williams which resulted in a controvesial interception at the LSU 1-yard line.  I will say that regardless of which way the refs called the play on the field, I don't think it could have been reversed by the replay official.  So had it been called a reception, I think it would have stood as well.  Just not sre there was indisputable evidence either way.  What is being missed about this play, however, is the pass itself.  Williams was running a corner post with nobody covering him.  Had Maze thrown the ball to the outside (and away from the defense), this would have been an easy, uncontested TD.  Instead, Maze threw the ball to the behind Williams and into the coverage.  To McElwain's credit, this was a great play call that should have resulted in an easy TD for Alabama. 

**  The Morris Claiborne interception that allowed LSU to tie the game.  The ball should never have been thrown.  Claiborne was covering TE Brad Smelley which was mis-match favoring LSU.  Very bad decision by McCarron.

**  Brad Wing's punt from the Alabama 9-yard line that pinned Alabama at the LSU 19-yard line.  Both Wing and Marquis Maze claim the punt hit the overhead wire.  The CBS camera crew claim it didn't.  I have no idea if it did or not, but I'm not sure CBS would readily admit that their equipment may have had an effect on cruicial play of this game.

**  AJ McCarron in overtime.  The first play he put too much heat on a very short throw to Richardson which Richardson could not handle.  The second play (a wheel route to Richardson) probably would have been a TD had McCarron put the ball where it needed to be.  The third play McCarron took a sack which pretty much foreclosed any chance of a FG.

Alabama's last losses have come in the form of major choke jobs against LSU twice, and Auburn.  At this rate Alabama will be known as the Chokelahoma of the SEC.  What all 3 of these games have in common is that Alabama's coaching staff did not play to win, rather they played not to lose.  The play not to lose style that defeated them against LSU & Auburn last season returned to defeat them against LSU.  At some point, the staff has to realize that all the recruiting they do, and all the preparation they do won't overcome the fact that the staff's bad habit of playing to not lose will continue to cost them championships.

LSU deserves all the credit in the world for coming into a very tough,boisterious Bryant-Denny Stadium and doing what they needed to do to leave with a win, and give them the inside track to the national championship.

I know this wasn't a MAC scoring fest, but all-in-all the game lived up to the hype.  I've never had some much fun at an Alabama loss in my life.

 

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User: jimmydafreak
Joined: October 2003
Location: United States
Team: Alabama Crimson Tide
Occupation: Information Technology

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