Alabama can beat LSU, but in order to do so they must establish the run, avoid turnovers, make Tyrann Mathieu a non-factor, and put points on the board when they get the chance.
The way LSU was talked about after the SEC Championship, it seemed like someone had already handed them the BCS Championship. But a week of BCS games reminds us that the finale still remains. And while LSU has already knocked off an impressive array of schools this year that includes Oregon, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia, and yes, even Alabama, the Tigers have one more game to play, and it's against that same pesky team coached by former LSU coach Nick Saban.
Need I remind you that LSU meeded overtime last time in order to beat Alabama by a field goal? Yes, there is still a game left to be played. Here is what Alabama needs to do to set off complete BCS disorder by beating the undefeated LSU Tigers:
1. Control the ball by establishing the run. Even when the Crimson Tide does not score, they will need to eat up clock and leverage field position by moving the chains on every drive. In order to have a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter, Alabama cannot afford three-and-outs. Running back Trent Richardson ran for 89 yards against the Tigers last time around, which isn't a bad effort. But I think the Heisman finalist will need more, and I think he'll have to find the end end zone for his team to win.
2. Manage momentum by not turning the ball over. In four of LSU's biggest this year, the Tigers depended on huge runs because they thrive on momentum swings, often led by defense and special teams. Playing Oregon, it was a 24-0 run, against West Virginia and Arkansas 21-0, and 42-0 against Georgia. For cannot feed the frenzy by fumbling or throwing interceptions.
3. Make Tyrann Mathieu a non-factor. The dynamic LSU defensive back and punt returner has a knack for creating turnovers and scoring touchdowns. The Crimson Tide would be smart to run, throw, and kick away from him as much as possible. Arkansas and Georgia both punted to him and realized it was a mistake as he was crossing the goal line.
4. Put points on the board when they have the chance. When Georgia did not allow LSU to earn any first downs in the first half of the SEC Championship, the Bulldogs still could not put much distance between themselves and LSU because they dropped two would-be touchdown passes. Key mistakes like that won't cut it against LSU. Like last time LSU played Alabama, I would not be surprised to see a low scoring game. Both squads possess stout defensive units. I expect field goal kicking to effect the outcome of the game. Crimson Tide kicker Jeremy Shelley has been consistent, but he has yet to prove that he has the leg for anything beyond 40 yards.