Tide Better Than LSU Statistically

Alabama has had the better of it in the football series against LSU. The Crimson Tide has an all-time record of 45-23-5 against the Fighting Tigers. As the teams prepare for the 74th game in the series on Saturday, Bama has been statistically stronger in games to date.

The teams are equal in the most important statistic, that of record. Both Alabama and LSU are 7-1 overall and 4-1 in Southeastern Conference games. Bama is ranked sixth in this week's BCS compilation, while the Tigers are 10th. The teams play at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge at 2:30 p.m. CDT Saturday with television coverage by CBS.

In scoring, Alabama is third in the league at 34.2 points per game while LSU is 10th at 25.5 points per game. In scoring defense, Bama is first in the league, giving up 12.5 points per game, and the Tigers are second, allowing 15.6.

On the ground, the Tide is fourth in the league, picking up 186.9 yards per game, and the Tigers are fifth with 179.1. Alabama is second in rushing defense, allowing 113.4 yards per game, and LSU is sith, giving up 128.1.

In passing offense, Bama is fourth, 253.9 yards per game, and LSU 12th, 138.8l. In pass defense, LSU is best, allowing 149.5 yards per game, and Alabama is fourth, fiving up 178 yards per game. In pass efficiency, Alabama is second and LSU 11th, and in pass defense efficiency the Tide is first, the Tigers second.

Now looking at the three areas considered by coaches to be of great importance: third down efficiency, turnover margin, and Red Zone performance:

In third down efficiency, Alabama ranks fourth with 41 conversions in 90 opportunities for 45.6 per cent. LSU is seventh, 46 conversions in 113 chances for 40.7 per cent. On defense, Alabama is second, allowing just 37 successes in 114 opportunities for 32.5 per cent and the Tigers are sixth, giving up 43 first downs in 113 third down chances for 38.1 per cent.

Alabama leads the league in turnover margin at plus nine. The Tide has two fumble recoveries and 15 interceptions for 17 takeaways and has lost five fumbles and three interceptions for eight turnovers. LSU is eighth at minus two. The Tigers have eight interceptions and eight fumble recoveries for 16 takeaways, but have lost nine fumbles and nine interceptions for 18 turnovers.

In the Red Zone (the opponent's 20-yard line to the goal line), Alabama is sixth in the league offensively, scoring 29 times (21 touchdowns, 8-10 field goals) in 35 opportunities for 82.9 per cent. LSU is ninth with 22 scores (13 touchdowns, 9-10 field goals) in 28 Red Zone trips for 78.6 per cent. On defense in the Red Zone, Alabama is first, allowing 15 scores (seven touchdowns, 8-8 field goals) in 23 chances, 65.2 per cent. LSU is fourth, allowing 15 scores (12 touchdowns, 3-6 field goals) in 20 chances, 75 per cent.

In total offense, Bama is third in the league with 440.8 yards per game, and LSU 11th, 317.9. On defense, LSU is first, allowing 277.6 yards per game, while the Tide is second, giving up 291.4.

Individually, Alabama's Robert Lester is tied for the SEC lead in interceptions with five, Bama's Trent Richardson leads in al-purpose yardage at 181.8 yards per game, and LSU's Pat Peterson leads the league in punt returns, averaging 19.7 yards per return (with two touchdowns) on 17 runbacks.

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