Nov 08, 2019

SEC & Big Ten Week 11 Preview: Tide vs. Tigers highlights important weekend for undefeated teams

No. 2 LSU (8-0) at No 3. Alabama (8-0) at 3:30 p.m. on CBS

Two of the seven remaining undefeated teams in the FBS will square off on Saturday as longtime SEC West rivals LSU and Alabama meet in Tuscaloosa.

This season marks the 13th consecutive year with both teams ranked in the Top 25 at the time of their meeting (including this year, the teams were both ranked in the Top 10 in seven of those 13 games), but the heavyweight tilt will be the first time in college football history that two teams ranked No. 1 in both the AP poll and the Coaches poll meet during the regular season.

The Tigers enter the contest ranked No. 1 in the AP poll and No. 2 in the USA Today Coaches poll while the Tide is No. 1 in the USA Today poll and No. 2 in the AP poll.

Further, in a series featuring two teams typically known for stout defense, both the Tide and the Tigers are in the top four in the nation in scoring offense averaging 48.6 points per game (2nd) and 46.8 points per game (4th), respectively. However, both squads are also ranked in the top 25 in both total defense and scoring defense to this point in the season.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the teams:

LSU Quick Hits:

  • LSU is 7-1 in its last eight games against Top 10 teams, including a win over Auburn earlier this season.
  • Of the Tigers’ 47 offensive touchdowns this year, 36 have come on drives of 3 minutes or less.
  • LSU leads the SEC in total offense (535.9 yards per game), passing offense (377.6 yards) and red zone offense (scores on 43 of 44 attempts, including 34 touchdowns). The Tigers defense is only allowing only 97.9 yards rushing per game this season.
  • Receivers Ja’Marr Chase (107.0) and Justin Jefferson (102.4) are ranked first and second in the SEC in receiving yards per game this season. Overall, Chase, Jefferson and fellow wideout Terrace Marshall have accounted for 25 total touchdowns, the most by any trio through the first eight games of a season in school history.
  • QB Joe Burrow leads the SEC and ranks No. 2 in the nation in passing yards (2,805), passing yards per game (350.6) and passing TDs (30), the latter representing a school record. He also leads the nation in completion percentage (78.8) and has completed 20 or more passes in a school-record 11 straight games.
  • LSU is outscoring opponents 374-160 on the year, making them one of seven teams with a point differential greater than +200 this season.
  • Cornerback Derek Stingley has intercepted a pass in four of LSU’s last five games and leads the SEC in passes defended with 13. His teammate, Jacob Phillips, ranks fourth in the conference in tackles per game (8.0), and the LSU defense has only allowed 23 second-half points in its last four games, combined.
  • In 42 games under Ed Orgeron, LSU is 19-1 mark when it has a 100-yard rusher, with the only loss coming in a 7OT defeat against Texas A&M last season. They are 3-0 this season when a player reaches the century mark on the ground.
  • LSU is off to an 8-0 start for the first time since 2011.
  • Click here for LSU’s complete game notes.
  • Click here for the Tigers’ Week 11 depth chart.

Alabama Quick Hits:

  • Head coach Nick Saban holds a 24-13 record against Top 5 teams, the best mark in college football.
  • Alabama is 6-0 all-time against Ed Orgeron-coached teams, and is 3-0 against Orgeron since he took over at LSU.
  • Alabama has won 31 straight games at home, part of a 48-1 run in its last 49 games in Tuscaloosa.
  • Since the start of the 2015 season, Alabama has forced at least one turnover in 62 of 67 games. This year, ‘Bama has eight fumble recoveries and 10 interceptions and is outscoring opponents 79-17 in points off turnovers.
  • Since the start of the 2009 season, Alabama has allowed fewer touchdowns than any team in the country, surrendering just 232 touchdowns in its last 147 games. LSU is second in the nation in that span with 287 touchdowns allowed.
  • In four SEC games this season, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has thrown for 1,310 yards and 15 touchdowns, with only two interceptions.
  • Alabama has scored on 32 of its 38 attempts in the red zone this season.
  • Alabama is 137-7 under Saban when leading at the half. That number improves to 121-4 when the Tide leads by a touchdown or more at the break.
  • Click here for Alabama’s complete game notes.
  • Click here for the Tide’s Week 11 depth chart.

Here’s a quick look at a few more games we’ll have our eyes on in the SEC and Big Ten this weekend:

Maryland (3-6) at No. 1 Ohio State (8-0) at Noon on FOX
This will be the sixth meeting between the Buckeyes and Terps. Ohio State has won all five games in the series with an average win margin of 31.4 points per game.

No. 4 Penn State (8-0) at No. 17 Minnesota (8-0) at Noon on ABC
Along with LSU and Alabama, the Nittany Lions and Golden Gophers are two of only seven undefeated teams left in FBS. After this week, there will be at most five undefeated teams left.

Purdue (3-6) at Northwestern (1-7) at Noon on BTN
In a series that dates back to 1895, the Boilermakers hold a 50-32-1 record against the Wildcats, but Northwestern enters Saturday’s game having won the previous five matchups between the schools.

Illinois (5-4) at Michigan State (4-4) at 3:30 p.m. on FS1
The Illini are looking to win four straight Big Ten games for the first time since 2001. A win against the Spartans would also make Lovie Smith’s team bowl eligible for the first time since 2014.

No. 18 Iowa (6-2) at No. 13 Wisconsin (6-2) at 4 p.m.  on FOX
This matchup will be a defensive battle, as the Badgers lead the nation in total defense (223.5 yards per game) and are tied for fourth in the FBS in scoring defense (11.4 points per game), while Iowa is allowing only 10.1 points per game (third in FBS).

Vanderbilt (2-6) at No. 10 Florida (7-2) at Noon on ESPN
The Gators have won six consecutive home games dating back to November 2018, and are seeking their first season with five home wins since 2016.

Missouri (5-3) at No. 6 Georgia (7-1) at 7 p.m.  on ESPN
Georgia’s Kirby Smart and Missouri’s Barry Odom are two of 11 head coaches at schools from Power 5 conferences that are coaching at their alma mater.

Tennessee (4-5) at Kentucky (4-4) at 7:30 p.m. on SECN
Since switching to play quarterback due to injuries at the position, Lynn Bowden Jr. has delivered, leading Kentucky to two straight wins. He rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns against Arkansas and had 204 rushing yards and two scores against Missouri.

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