LSU, Alabama set for another epic showdown of No. 1 vs. No. 2
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama and LSU are ready for another 1 vs. 2 November get-together.
It took eight years, seismic offensive shifts and two Heisman Trophy-contending quarterbacks, but they’re back for another massive meeting between the nation’s two top-ranked teams in the AP poll.
No. 1 LSU (8-0, 4-0 SEC, No. 2 CFP) meets No. 2 Alabama (8-0, 5-0, No. 3 CFP) on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium, just like the so-called Game of the Century in 2011. Well, not just like it since those comparatively plodding offenses never reached the end zone and now the Tigers and Crimson Tide have two of the nation’s best.
Even President Donald Trump is expected to attend.
“It’s very exciting, 1 vs. 2. It’s the best of the best,” Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy said. “You want to go out there and show that you’re the best. So there’s a lot of excitement, a lot of anxiety, just ready to go out and play.”
The big question leading up to the game is the status of Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and his surgically repaired right ankle. Coach Nick Saban has said that will be “a game-time decision,” but Tagovailoa has been practicing, and ‘Bama remains a 5-1/2-point favorite.
If he is healthy, it has the makings of an epic quarterback showdown: Tagovailoa and LSU’s Joe Burrow rank among the top three nationally in completion percentage and passing efficiency. Burrow is second in passing yards per game and Tagovailoa is seventh.
The offenses bear scant resemblance to those in the 2011 field goal festival, won 9-6 by LSU in overtime. Alabama won the rematch 21-0 in the national championship game and hasn’t lost to its SEC West rival since — an eight-game win streak.
Both teams again have their sights set on SEC championships and playoff berths. LSU has polished its resume with three wins over Top-10 teams and, perhaps, could overcome a loss in Tuscaloosa or the SEC championship game. Alabama hasn’t faced anybody currently ranked and might not have that luxury.
“We went on the road and (played) a really good Texas team, played Florida, Auburn,” Burrow said. “So we’ve been challenged, and I think that’s going to help us a lot this week, facing the adversity we’ve had this year … We have a really mature team.”