5 things LSU must do to slay Goliath Alabama
OK, so it’s one thing to say LSU can beat Alabama.
But it’s a whole another thing entirely to put all the pieces together and explain how it can happen while still keeping your credibility.
The Tigers are a 21.5-point underdog in Saturday’s game, which has an over/under of 47.
By that math, Las Vegas thinks Alabama will win the game 34-13 or something along those lines.
But, crazier things have happened and many LSU fans think the Tigers have a chance to compete in the game.
To do that, LSU must do these five things – almost all to perfection.
- Protect the football – This one is obvious. If you turnover the football against Alabama, you’re going to lose every, single time. The problem with Alabama turnovers is that they often turn them into immediate points – either with a pick-six or a fumble recovery for a touchdown. The Tigers can turnover the ball once against Alabama, but a general rule of thumb is that for every one turnover they give, they have to take two back from the Tide. That, of course, is also tough because Alabama doesn’t often give the ball away. Ahh, the joys of facing the Crimson Tide.
- Find balance – In the late-Les Miles era, LSU’s offensive approach against Alabama was stupid. The Tigers would pile tight ends and linemen at the line of scrimmage and would run straight into the teeth of Alabama’s defense – almost like a wrecking ball into a concrete wall. It didn’t work. We could replay those games 1,000 times over and that strategy would never work – which is why fans got so frustrated. With Matt Canada, the Tigers can maybe find the mix of shifts and formation alignments to fool the Crimson Tide enough to sustain plays in both the running game and passing game. Derrius Guice needs to be big in the game. He has to have a huge night.
- Special teams – Alabama is the best team in the country defensively and that starts in special teams. The Crimson Tide don’t allow return yards and they often find return yards of their own along the way. LSU can’t allow a blocked punt or a big play in special teams. On the road, those plays yield far too much momentum. The Tigers simply can’t survive that big of a swing as this big of an underdog.
- Tackle the man with the football – LSU’s tackling this season has been atrocious this season – the worst I’ve seen in the past 15 years. How often do we see guys get hit at the line of scrimmage before breaking tackles and picking up four or five extra yards? That can’t happen Saturday. The key to stopping Alabama’s offense is keeping them against the chains. That means hitting the ball carrier and taking him down to the ground immediately. It’s not easy to do. Hell, it hasn’t been done by anyone all season. But it’s the only shot the Tigers have at victory.
- Get lucky – That’s not a type-O. For LSU to beat Alabama, they have to get lucky. There’s no shame in that. Luck is a big part of sports. When you’re a 21.5-point underdog and you’re on the road, you have to have a ball bounce your way or get a big penalty to go in your favor along the way to have a chance to win. It is what it is. But LSU must catch a huge break to win – maybe even two.