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Weekend Spotlight: LSU at Alabama

No. 13 LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) at No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC)

Alabama leads the series 47-25-5 (Last meeting November 3, 2012: Alabama 21, LSU 13)

LSU heads to Tuscaloosa this weekend for its 77th matchup with Alabama in the series that back to 1895. The game has perennially been between two of the top teams in the country as Alabama and LSU have combined to win four of the past six BCS National Championships. This will be the seventh straight year that the two teams have met as ranked teams, and the third consecutive year that the game will be broadcast on CBS primetime.

While Alabama has been dominant over the past few years, LSU has had the most success of anyone against the Crimson Tide. The Tigers have the most wins over Alabama since 2000 (nine) and have won five of the past six games at Alabama, including a 9-6 overtime victory in 2011 that was deemed the “Game of the Century” by many in the media. LSU is led on offense by senior quarterback Zack Mettenberger, who needs only eight yards to become the first LSU QB to throw for over 2,500 yards in back-to-back seasons. His favorite targets have been Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry as both receivers rank in the top five in the SEC in touchdown receptions (eight apiece), receptions per game (5.3 and 6.4, respectively) and yards per reception (21.0 and 15.2, respectively). On defense, LSU is led by linebacker Lamin Barrow who leads the team in total tackles with 64 and is a semifinalist for the Butkus Award. LSU has played 13 previous games against the top ranked team in the nation, going 2-10-1 in those games (1-4 under current coach Les Miles.)

Alabama enters the game on one of the most dominant stretches in college football history, winning two consecutive national championships and three in the past four years, the first team since Nebraska in the early 1990’s to accomplish both feats. Senior quarterback A.J. McCarron enters the game with 33 career wins and a 94.3% career winning percentage, the best in SEC history. The Tides rushing attack has been two-headed this year with both T.J. Yeldon (758 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Kenyan Drake (491 yards, 8 touchdowns) ranking in the top 11 in the SEC in rushing touchdowns and yards per game. The offense has been very efficient overall, scoring a touchdown on 47.8% of its offensive possessions, ranking sixth nationally, and have gone three-and-out on only 17.8% of their possessions, which is seventh nationally. On the other side of the ball, Alabama is equally as dominant. The Tide have allowed the second fewest first downs in the nation (114) this year, and since the start of the 2009 season have only allowed 78 touchdowns in 62 games. This is 37 less than the second ranked team over this time period, LSU, with 115 touchdowns allowed.

Two Point Conversion

-LSU is 5-4 against its former coaches. The Tigers are 3-4 against Nick Saban with the other two wins coming over Paul Dietzel who coached LSU from 1955-1961 and later went on to coach Army and South Carolina.

-LSU is 9-9 all-time playing in Tuscaloosa

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