Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Professional Approach: ‘Bama Invades LSU

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 02: Mark Barron  of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
If the month of October was considered the “gauntlet” for the Alabama Crimson Tide, the month of November appears to be an “agenda” waiting to be satisfied.

As has been the case since 2008, the Alabama Crimson Tide must “disconnect” from the rest of the college football world…and simply focus on each task at hand.

Task number one…the LSU Tigers.

From a statistical standpoint, the LSU Tigers will be the best defense the Alabama Crimson Tide will face during the 2010 season.

In respect to the SEC, the Tigers are second in scoring defense (behind Alabama) only allowing 15 points per game.

LSU also ranks first in pass defense (149.5 yards per contest) and first in total defense, only allowing 277 yards per game.

Needless to say, the Alabama offense will need a performance similar to the Tennessee outing if the Tide wishes to be offensively successful in Baton Rouge.

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 25: Patrick Peterson  of the Louisiana State Univeristy Tigers celebrates after scoring a touchdown by posing as the Heisman Trophy against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Tiger Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, defensive tackle Drake Nevis and defensive back Patrick Peterson are three of the most prolific defensive players in the SEC.

The Alabama offensive line will certainly need to exhibit excellent technique and physical fortitude in order to contain the LSU defensive front.

LSU will look to attack the Alabama running game and force the Crimson Tide to pass. Patrick Peterson is one of the best defensive backs in college football and for the third year in a row he will look to blanket ‘Bama wide receiver Julio Jones. The Peterson/Jones matchup will be critical for both teams.

The Alabama offense against the talented and physical LSU defense is certainly one of the major storylines for this contest, but why is the success of the LSU defense so vital in respect to this game?

Simply stated…LSU has a dire offense.

The Tigers currently rank tenth in the SEC in respect to points per contest. The LSU defense will need to all but eliminate the Alabama offensive attack in order to keep the Tigers in the game.

On the surface, if Alabama can put 21 points on the board, the day could be very long for LSU.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 16: Quarterback Greg McElroy  of the Alabama Crimson Tide hands the ball off to Mark Ingram  against the Ole Miss Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Alabama only allows 12.5 points per game (best in the SEC) so the LSU offense will certainly face a daunting task if the defense gives up 20+ points to the Crimson Tide.

Statistics and tendencies can paint a nice picture of what is to be expected, however, the environment and mental status of each team and player is what makes most any game…a guessing game.

Baton Rouge and Tiger Stadium has been and will always be, one of the toughest road environments in all of college football.

The November “agenda” for the Alabama Crimson Tide will begin on Saturday and one can only hope the Tide will come ready to work…instead of seeking an early vacation.

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