LSU vs Alabama: 3 reasons Tigers upset Tide

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 26: LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (9) rushes the ball for a touchdown during a game between the LSU Tigers and the Auburn Tigers in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 26, 2019. (Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 26: LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (9) rushes the ball for a touchdown during a game between the LSU Tigers and the Auburn Tigers in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 26, 2019. (Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The top-ranked LSU Tigers are getting ready for a trip to Tuscaloosa. With the offensive firepower that LSU has this season, expect the Tigers to be able to take down the Crimson Tide Saturday afternoon.

Alabama and LSU are gearing up for a battle between the top two ranked teams in the country. The Crimson Tide will welcome the Tigers to Bryant Denny Stadium Saturday afternoon with the winner essentially locking up their trip to Atlanta to face off against the Georgia Bulldogs. But the winner will also have the inside track to get to the college football playoffs. And expect the winner to be LSU this season.

This is LSU’s best shot at taking down the Tide this half of this decade. One of the greatest trends about the early half of the 2010s was the incredible matchups between dominant Alabama and LSU teams that often seemed capable of going either way. From 2010-2015, four games were decided by seven points or less.

But, somewhere along the way, Alabama continued to improve with Nick Saban and LSU started slipping under Les Miles. LSU is back at the top of the college football world with Ed Orgeron leading the Tigers, and with the team, he has assembled for this season, LSU has its best chance to beat Alabama in quite some time.

Here are three reasons why the Tigers should upset the Tide Saturday.

No. 3: LSU has several dangerous wide receivers who will be difficult to contain

Alabama’s secondary is going to be busy Saturday afternoon. The LSU Tigers have a group of receivers that could give just about anyone trouble. And Joe Burrow is more than capable of finding them. LSU has three receivers with at least 7 receiving touchdowns this year and a couple of guys with at least 700 receiving yards this season.

Justin Jefferson leads the way for LSU. The junior wide receiver stands at 6-foot-3 and 192 pounds and has 819 receiving yards and 9 touchdown receptions so far this season. Jefferson also has 55 receptions, more than any other receiver on the Tigers’ roster.

Behind Jefferson is Ja’Marr Chase. Chase, a sophomore, weighs in at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds. So far this season, the sophomore wide receiver has 749 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns on 43 receptions.

And while Terrace Marshall Jr. hasn’t exactly produced plenty of receiving yards this season, he’s been a definite touchdown threat. Marshall has only managed to catch 22 passes for 333 yards, but he’s turned seven of those receptions into touchdowns. Alabama’s secondary could have a difficult time keeping up with the 6-foot-4, 200-pound receiver.

No. 2: Tua Tagovailoa is returning from ankle surgery

Normally, with who Alabama has, it would be safe to say that the Crimson Tide should come out on top. Tua Tagovailoa is a remarkable, once-in-a-generation type of talent.

But he hasn’t exactly been fully healthy this season. Against Tennessee, Tagovailoa went down with an ankle injury against Tennessee. The very next day, Alabama’s quarterback underwent surgery. Redshirt sophomore Mac Jones took Tagovailoa’s place and performed admirably, but it’s clear Alabama’s offense is better with its Heisman candidate under center.

After having the week off against Arkansas and then getting a bye week before LSU, Tagovailoa has had some time to rest. He’s been able to return to practice, which is huge for his chances of playing against LSU.

But if his ankle isn’t 100 percent and the Tigers start getting after Tagovailoa, how will the Heisman candidate respond? How will he perform if he’s under pressure and isn’t fully healthy? That remains to be seen.

No. 1: The Tigers finally have a quarterback

Is it fair to say that Joe Burrow has become the best quarterback to ever play for LSU? The former Ohio State Buckeye transferred down to Baton Rouge and has become a legitimate Heisman candidate with the Tigers. His command of LSU’s offense is going to lead to Burrow being drafted high by some NFL team once his college career is wrapped up.

And his command of this offense should give Alabama fans reasons to be concerned. Burrow has thrown for 2,805 yards, 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions while completing 78.8 percent of his passes. The talented quarterback is averaging over 350 passing yards a game this season.

Burrow has been tested this season. Against the Texas Longhorns in Austin, Burrow threw for 471 yards, four touchdowns and one pick while completing 79.5 percent of his passes. When the Tigers faced the Florida Gators, Burrow completed 21 of 24 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns.

In the past, when LSU has beaten Alabama (it’s been a while), it’s largely been in spite of the Tigers’ quarterback. This year, should LSU pull off the road upset, it will be largely because of Burrow.

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