West collision brings in two top defenses

If you take into account how LSU and Alabama rank nationally in defensive statistics, then Saturday's matchup between the fifth-ranked Tigers and the third-ranked Crimson Tide could be a low scoring affair.

LSU and Alabama meet at 2:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. The game will be televised to a national audience by CBS.

LSU, winners of six straight following the 24-0 win over Appalachian State, is ranked among the top 20 in the nation in four different categories. The Tigers are No. 5 in the nation in pass efficiency defense (94.7 rating), No. 6 in the nation in scoring defense (13.9 points per game), 12th in total defense (295.8 yards per game) and 16th in rushing defense (107.5 yards per game).

The Tigers have allowed only 50 total points in their last six games, which includes a shutout of Appalachian State on Saturday.

Alabama, which hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in nine quarters, got 14 points from its defense on Saturday in a 17-0 win over Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide leads the nation in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 8.2 points per game.

Alabama is also first in the SEC and third in the nation in total defense, allowing only 244 yards per contest. The Crimson Tide is yielding just 93.8 yards rushing per game, a figure that ranks seventh nationally, while holding opponents to only 150 yards passing a game, the nation's fourth-best total.

Offensively, the Tigers hold the edge over the Crimson Tide as LSU is scoring 31.8 points per game, compared to 24 points for Alabama. The Tigers are third in the conference in total offense with 401 yards per game, compared to 379 yards per contest for the Crimson Tide.

The Tigers continue to lead the SEC in several key special teams categories. LSU is first in the SEC and seventh in the nation in punt returns with a 16.5 average. LSU is first in the SEC and third in the nation in net punting with a 39.8 average and they are first in the league kickoff coverage with a net average of 46.2.

Individually, LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell is second in the SEC and 23rd in the nation in pass efficiency with a 146.3 rating. Russell has completed 134 of 210 passes for 1,750 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Alabama running back Kenneth Darby is second in the SEC with 107.6 yards per game. In nine games, Darby has rushed for 968 yards and three touchdowns. LSU running back Joseph Addai, who has carried only six times in the past two games, ranks seventh in the league with 83 yards per game. Addai has rushed for 664 yards and seven scores for the Tigers this year.

In addition, LSU return specialist Skyler Green continues to lead the league in punt returns, averaging 15.6 yards on 18 returns.

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