#2 Louisiana State University (8-0) vs #3 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)
Coach: Ed Orgeron
LSU Players to watch
Senior QB Joe Burrow (6-4/216)
Back in Week 2, I was guilty of putting Joe Burrow in a box, a box that said he was nothing more than a dutiful play caller whose job was to simply play mistake free football. Burrow lit Texas up in week two, going 31-37 for 471 yards and 4 touchdowns. His performance made me recant. Since then Burrow has look spectacular, placing himself firmly in the Heisman conversation. So far this year, he’s put up 2,805 yards with a 30-4 Td/Int ratio.
Against Tennessee (Oct 19), Burrow made history, passing Jamarcus Russell and Matt Mauck for most touchdowns in a single-season by an LSU quarterback. Burrow is also on pace to break the NCAA single-season completion record, held by former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan at 70.4 %. Burrow is currently completing 78.8 % of his passes in 2019. Lastly, he’s also on pace to eclipse Rohan Davey’s single season team mark of 3,347 passing yards.
*Junior CB Kristian Fulton (6-0/192)
Because Fulton is playing opposite freshman sensation Derek Singletary, he’s seen a more balls come his way than expected – yes, Singletary is just that good. Fulton, himself, is projected by some to be a first round pick in 2020. He has tremendous speed and cover skills. While he only has one interception in 2019, he has eight passes defended. Fulton is an all-around player and just as aggressive against the run as he is playing the pass. Shutting down Jeudy, Smith, and Ruggs will be key if LSU is to win this game.
*Junior MLB Jacob Phillips (6-4/229)
Devon White left via the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving Phillips to man the middle of this year’s LSU defense. Phillips leads the team in solo tackles and assists. Phillips has good size and length; he plays with good leverage, and sheds well. When coming down hill, Phillips is able to quickly diagnose and fill his gap. His job will be to tee off on Najee Harris and stop the run.
*Junior WR Justin Jefferson (6-2/185)
Jefferson and fellow wideout Ja’Marr Chase both have nine touchdowns on the season. Jefferson is a playmaking receiver that excels in making the difficult catch. He has good speed and great hands. He can be shifty, and might cause some match up problems for the Alabama secondary. Jefferson said via the Lafayette Daily Advertiser’s Glenn Guilbeau that LSU was going to “dominate” ‘Bama. The junior wide receiver has 55 catches for 819 yards for the Tigers, who are fourth in the country averaging 46.8 points per game.
Coach: Nick Saban
Alabama Players to watch:
*Junior DE Terrell Lewis (6-5/252)
Alabama is going to need Terrell Lewis to bring his “A” game on Saturday. Last year, the Tide had Isaiah Buggs, Christian Miller, and Quinnen Williams to bring the pressure. This year, Lewis is pretty much the lone pass rush specialist. Getting pressure on Burrow will be key, as will getting off the field. If Lewis and Alabama can put LSU in 2nd and long, their chances at success go way up.
*Junior WR Jerry Jeudy (6-1/192)
As a sophomore, Jeudy won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver. He’s a threat all over the field, can line up anywhere, and has some wheels once he gets the ball in his hands. Jeudy’s production is down this year – he’ll end up with more catches, but less yards – and that’s because defense are keying on him. The result has been that DeVonta Smith has been able to put up some impressive numbers this year. Jeudy is Alabama’s most polished receiver, he’ll have the best chance and besting LSU talented DBs.
Senior CB Trevon Diggs (6-2/200)
With Patrick Surtain on one side of the field, look for Burrow to target Diggs. Like Surtain, Trevon Diggs has football in his genes, he is the younger brother of NFL’s Stefon Diggs. Trevon has three Ints and 5 pbu’s this season. He also returned an fumble for a 100-yard touchdown during the second half of the Tennessee-Alabama game, putting the icing on the cake.
*Junior RB Najee Harris (6-2/227)
Alabama’s run game hasn’t been what it usually is. Harris only has three games of over 100 yards, and leads the team with 642 through eight games. Harris’ backup, Brian Robinson, only has 352 yards. For Alabama to keep the LSU offense off the field, they are going to have to balanced run-pass attack. OC Steve Sarkisian will need to establish Harris in the run and screen game. With Harris running effectively, the passing attack will open more freely against a talented LSU backfield.
Bryant-Denny Stadium – Grass
Nov 9 | Tuscaloosa, Alabama