LSU/Bama pre-game notes

No. 1 Alabama (9-0, 5-0 SEC) travels to Baton Rouge on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. date with the 15th-ranked LSU Tigers (6-2, 3-2), carrying with it the last chance for the Tigers to get back into the race to win the SEC West.

The Crimson Tide can clinch the SEC West with a win.


Alabama leads the series all time with a record of 43-23-5, though the Tigers have been victorious in the last five meetings.


In Baton Rouge, Alabama leads the series 24-8-2, though a win would mark three straight for the Tigers over the Tide in Death Valley.


The last time the two teams met, the Tigers returned home from Tuscaloosa with a nail-biting, 41-34 win, keeping the Bayou Bengals hopes of a national title alive.


This season, it is the Tide who heads into the game with an unblemished record.


The last time the Tide started 9-0, the Tigers traveled to Tuscaloosa and handed Alabama its first loss on the season, an overtime thriller that gave LSU a 16-13 win.


The Tide are hoping to buck the only losing skid on their plate, as the Tide have dropped nine straight November SEC games.


Alabama leads the series 9-6-1 when both teams are ranked, while the higher ranked team has an 11-4-1 record in those meetings.


This will be the first time Alabama will play a regular season game ranked No. 1 in the polls since their Nov. 1, 1980 match against Mississippi State.


While the Tigers look to rely on the production of Charles Scott, who has carried the ball 132 times for 889 yards and 11 touchdowns, it must be noted that the Tide have only yielded one rushing touchdown on defense all season.


Scott has churned out six 100-yard games thus far, but the Tide have yet to allow a back to go ever the century mark against them this year.


The Tigers are led by redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Lee, who is 106-of-189 for 1,427 yards and 12 touchdowns.


Lee's youth, however, has been crystal clear. The Brenham-native has thrown ten interceptions on the season, five of which were returned for touchdowns.


Lee's main receiver has been fellow Texas-native Brandon LaFell. The junior wide out has hauled in 39 receptions for 572 yards and six touchdowns.


The Tide brings a more experienced quarterback to the table, as senior John Parker Wilson has completed on 124-of-204 passes for 1,412 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions.


Wilson's favorite target, freshman sensation Julio Jones, has pulled in 33 receptions for 506 yards and four touchdowns.


The Tiger defensive backfield is led by junior cornerback Chris Hawkins and senior safety Curtis Taylor, both having recording a pair of interceptions on the season.


Junior safety Harry Coleman leads the Tigers with 47 total tackles, 27 of which were solo.


On the defensive front, junior Rahim Alem has recorded six sacks and eight tackles for a loss.


The Tiger defense, which has been sporadic throughout the season, is allowing 297 yards of total offense per game and has allowed opponents an average of 23.8 points per game.


Alabama leads the SEC in both rushing offense and defense.


Offensively, the ground game has been powered by a trio of backs.


Leading the way is junior Glenn Coffee, who has rushed for 894 yards and seven touchdowns on 136 carries. Going without a touchdown in Alabama's first three games, Coffee has managed seven touchdowns in the Tide's last six outings.


Freshman Mark Ingram has provided sound relief for Coffee, carrying the ball 94 times for 533 yards and eight touchdowns.


The Tide's third back, junior Roy Upchurch, has already surpassed his totals from last season, carrying the ball 56 times for 335 yards and four touchdowns.


Defensively, Alabama is led by senior safety Rashad Johnson, who leads the team in solo tackles (39) and total tackles (58).


Brandon Deaderick has been dominant across the front line en route to leading the team in sacks, recording 3.5 on the season for a total loss of 23 yards.


Junior defensive back Justin Woodall leads the team in interceptions with four, two more than the next highest total on the team.


The Tide defense, one of the stingiest in the nation, is holding opponents to just 12.2 points per game and 251.4 yards of total offense. On the ground, Alabama is conceding an average of only 65.6 yards a game to opponents.


This marks the first time Alabama head coach Nick Saban has returned to Tiger Stadium since coaching the Tigers from 2000-2004.

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