Alabama/LSU game notebook

The Alabama Crimson Tide (8-2, 5-1 SEC) football team hits the road again this weekend, this time meeting the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge. Kickoff is set for 8:10 p.m. in a game that will be televised by ESPN. This Saturday's game pits two of the nation's top three defenses. LSU (246.4) is ranked first, while Alabama (249.1) is ranked third in the national stats.

  • The Tide is coming off a workman-like, 28-14 win over Mississippi State. LSU (8-2, 4-1 SEC) is coming off last week's "Miracle in the Bluegrass" victory at Kentucky (33-30).
  • The Crimson Tide is playing its third SEC road game on ESPN this season. UA also played on the all-sports cable network at Arkansas and Tennessee.
  • Handling the announcing duties for ESPN will be Ron Franklin (play-by-play), Mike Gottfried (analyst) and Adrian Karsten (sideline).
  • The game will also be aired on the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play) and Kenny

The Head Coaches

Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is in his second season with the Crimson Tide and is part of an elite college coaching group with 150 or more career wins. Currently, there are only seven active coaches with 150 or more career wins and Franchione joined that group following a 42-7 win over Ole Miss on Oct. 19. In his first season, Coach Fran led Alabama to a 7-5 record, including a win over Iowa State in the Mainstay Independence Bowl. He is 15-7 (.682) in his tenure with the Crimson Tide. Overall, Franchione is in his 20th season as a head coach and has compiled a 153-72-2 (.678) lifetime ledger at Southwestern (Kansas) College, Pittsburg State, Southwest Texas State, New Mexico, TCU and Alabama.

LSU head coach Nick Saban is in his 3rd season as head coach at LSU and 9th overall. He is 25-9 (.734) with the Tigers and 68-35-1 (.668) in his head coaching career. He had previous head coaching stints at Toledo (9-2) and Michigan State (34-24-1).

Alabama-LSU Series

Alabama and LSU meet for the 66th time this Saturday when the two SEC Western Division rivals meet at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Alabama and LSU have the best two records in the SEC Western Division and both are one-half game behind Georgia for the league's overall best record heading into Saturday's game.
  • The Crimson Tide holds a 42-18-5 (.685) lead in a series that dates back to the 1895 season. The Fighting Tigers won the inaugural meeting (12-6) played here in Baton Rouge on Nov. 18, 1895. The two teams did not meet again until the 1902 season, with LSU prevailing once again.
  • Bama's first series win came on Nov. 9, 1903 here in Baton Rouge as the Crimson Tide scored a 10-0 victory. LSU won four of the first six meetings in the series, before Alabama began to take control at the conclusion of World War I. From 1919-45, Alabama posted a 12-game unbeaten streak (9-0-3) against LSU.
  • The Tigers would gain a slight advantage over the next nine meetings, posting a 5-3-1 record from 1946-58.
  • In 1964, the series became one-sided in favor of the Crimson Tide. Alabama would go 16-2 against LSU from 1964-81, including a series-long 11-game winning streak from 1971-81.
  • During Paul Bryant's era as head coach (1958-82), UA posted a 16-4 mark against LSU, which included a five-game winning streak (1964-68) and a 11-game winning streak (1971-81). LSU's four wins over Bryant's teams came in 1958, 1969, 1970 and 1982.
  • Since 1982, the Crimson Tide holds a narrow 11-8-1 series lead with the Tigers. Included in that stretch was a four-game winning streak by Alabama from 1989-92.
  • LSU enters the 2002 season having won four of the last six meetings in the series, including a two-game winning streak. Alabama had its 15-game unbeaten streak snapped with a 30-28 loss to LSU on Nov. 4, 2000. It marked LSU's first win in Baton Rouge since a 20-15 victory on Nov. 8, 1969. LSU won last year's meeting in Tuscaloosa (Nov. 1), 35-21.

Game Captains

Game captains for the LSU game are Sam Collins (split end), Lane Bearden (punter), Gerald Dixon (cornerback) and Waine Bacon (strong safety).

There's No Place Like Home

There's no place like home, unless you play in the Alabama-LSU football series. A streaky series at best, this matchup between Alabama and LSU has produced some interesting results. The Crimson Tide holds a 42-18-5 series lead over the Tigers in a series that has been recently dominated by the road team.

The road team has won 19 of the last 31 meetings, dating back to 1970. Prior to the 2000 season, Alabama had not lost in Baton Rouge since the 1969 (LSU 20-15) season. With the loss in 2000, Alabama is 14-1-1 record at Tiger Stadium since 1969.

On the flip side, LSU has won seven of the last 10 games played in the state of Alabama, including four straight road wins in 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1988. LSU also ended UA's school record 31-game (30-0-1) unbeaten streak with a 17-13 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium in 1993. The Crimson Tide's only home wins over the Tigers in the last 15 years came in 1990 (24-3), 1995 (10-3) and 1999 (23-17).

Bama-LSU Series at Various Sites

The Alabama-LSU series has been played at six different sites since the initial meeting in 1895. The city of Baton Rouge has hosted the most games in the series (30), with Alabama posting a 22-6-2 record on the LSU campus. Only one other Louisiana city has hosted this series, with Alabama and LSU playing to a 7-7 tie in New Orleans in 1921. Four Alabama cities have played host to this rivalry, including Tuscaloosa, Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham.

Bama-LSU Series Notebook

  • Alabama and LSU have met every year since 1964. The two teams met in odd-numbered years at Tiger Stadium until the SEC expanded to 12 teams in 1992. Alabama played in Baton Rouge in both 1991 and 1992 and since then have traveled to Tiger Stadium in even-numbered years.
  • Legendary Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's first game as head coach of the Crimson Tide was against LSU. The Tigers defeated the Crimson Tide 13-3 on Sept. 27, 1958 at Mobile's Ladd Stadium.
  • Alabama played two straight years at Vanderbilt (2001-02) and hosted Miss. State (2001-02) for two consecutive seasons. The last time Alabama played an opponent at the same venue in consecutive seasons was against LSU in Baton Rouge in 1991-92.
  • LSU has won the last two meetings with Alabama, but has never had a three-game winning streak over the Crimson Tide. The current two-game series winning streak is the fifth in series history by the Tigers.
  • Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is 0-1 in his head coaching career against LSU.
  • LSU coach Nick Saban is 2-0 in his head coaching career against Alabama.
  • The are no players on the Alabama roster from the state of Louisiana.
  • LSU has three players on its football roster from the state of Alabama, including Chris McCauley (LB, Homewood), Melvin Oliver (DT, Opelika) and Brandon Washington (DE, Central-Tuscaloosa).
  • Alabama offensive coordinator Les Koenning and LSU offensive line coach George Yarno worked together for one season at Houston (1999). Koenning served as the Cougars offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, while Yarno was the o-line coach. Alabama defeated Houston 37-10 that season at Legion Field.
  • LSU defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison served in the same capacity at Alabama under Mike DuBose from 1998-2000.
  • LSU defensive line coach Lance Thompson served in the same capacity at Alabama under Mike DuBose from 1999-2000.
  • LSU offensive coordinator and QB coach Jimbo Fisher served as quarterbacks coach at Auburn under Terry Bowden from 1993-98. The Tigers posted a 3-3 record against the Crimson Tide during that six-year period.
  • LSU's Director of Athletic Training, Jack Marucci, earned his master's degree from Alabama in 1988. He spent two years with the Crimson Tide football and baseball teams as a graduate assistant trainer.
  • LSU wide receiver Jerel Myers has played in three career games against Alabama and has 12 catches for 126 yards (10.5 avg) and two TDs. In last year's game at Tuscaloosa, Myers had five catches for 64 yards and one TD.
  • LSU wide receiver Michael Clayton was one of two Tiger receivers to have 100 receiving yards last year against Alabama. Clayton caught seven passes for 126 yards in the Tigers 35-21 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  • LSU return specialist Domanick Davis has been held in check by Alabama on punt returns during his three career, but kickoff returns have been a much different story. Davis has two career punt returns against Alabama for minus 14 yards. Davis has six KO returns for 207 yards (34.5 avg), including a long of 51 yards.

Bama-LSU at Night in Baton Rouge

The Crimson Tide and Tigers will play this Saturday night in Baton Rouge for the first time since 1996. The 2002 game marks the 16th time the Crimson Tide and Fighting Tigers have met under the lights in Baton Rouge.

Alabama is 13-2-1 (.843) in night games at Tiger Stadium.

Night Games

The LSU game also marks Alabama's fifth night game of the 2002 season, the second-most in the SEC. LSU and Florida are playing their sixth night game of the season this Saturday. In addition, the Crimson Tide has played three of its four SEC road games under the lights and all three games were televised by ESPN. The Alabama-Arkansas game started at 6:47 p.m. (CT), while the Alabama-Tennessee game was a 7:47 p.m. (ET) kickoff. The LSU game is set to begin at 8:10 p.m. (CT), the latest kickoff of the 2002 season.
  • The five night games this year are the most by Alabama since 1987 when UA played Penn State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Miss. State and LSU under the lights. The Penn State, Vanderbilt and LSU games were all on the road.
  • The last time Alabama played three SEC night games in the same season was 1997, when UA faced Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee and Auburn. The Vanderbilt and Kentucky games were played on the road.
  • The last time Alabama played three SEC road night games in the same season was 1971 when UA played at Vanderbilt, Miss. State and LSU.

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