No. 6 Alabama Meets No. 15 LSU with SEC West Lead at Stake

Mississippi St Alabama Football

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) rolls out against Mississippi State during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

No. 6 Alabama and No. 15 LSU will renew a rivalry with high stakes. It is the 15th time since 2007 that Alabama and LSU play each other when both are ranked in the top 20 of the AP Top 25.

Alabama has won 10 of those matchups and also has won 12 of its last 15 against LSU overall. The last time Alabama lost in Tiger Stadium was in 2010. The winner this time takes control of the race for the SEC Western Division.

Alabama (7-1, 4-1 SEC, No. 6 CFP) also needs to win to stay close to the top four in the College Football Playoff rankings. With two losses, LSU (6-2, 4-1 SEC, No. 10 CFP) is a longshot to climb into a CFP playoff position, but a victory would boost the Tigers’ prospects.

The key matchup is Alabama quarterback Bryce Young against LSU’s defensive front. Young’s right shoulder should be in good shape after an open date. He has put up big numbers in nine games against ranked teams, averaging 335.2 yards with 22 touchdowns against six interceptions. The Tigers have largely been effective pressuring quarterbacks, particularly against Mississippi and Mississippi State. But LSU’s defense has looked more vulnerable against dual-threat QBs such as Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Florida State’s Jordan Travis.

Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs is a threat as a runner and receiver. He’s rushed for 672 yards and six touchdowns while catching 31 passes for 303 yards and three scores. Gibbs didn’t put up big numbers against Mississippi State. but ran for 473 yards and five TDs over the previous three games.

Alabama is 29-9-2 all-time in Baton Rouge. Alabama coach Nick Saban won his first national title as a coach with LSU in the 2003 season. Since leaving the NFL for Alabama in 2007, Saban is 12-4 against LSU.

Kickoff is at 6PM CDT on ESPN.

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