Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama football’s offensive strengths match up perfectly with LSU defensive weaknesses

CW/ David Gray
Alabama wide receiver Ja’Corey Brooks prepares to catch the ball against former LSU defensive back Jarrick Bernard-Converse in the Nov. 5, 2022, Alabama vs. LSU game.

The University of Alabama will welcome the No. 13 LSU Tigers into Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday night for a game that will likely determine the champion of the SEC West.  

Both schools have been known for historically great defenses; however, this year’s LSU is led by quarterback Jayden Daniels and the team’s historically impressive offense. There have been struggles on the defensive side for the Tigers, such as allowing 45 points to Florida State and 55 to Ole Miss. However, there have been signs of life, including a pick-six against Missouri to seal the victory and holding Army scoreless.  

In the past two games, the LSU defense has held its opponents to under 150 yards passing. However, LSU faced Auburn and Army, two teams that struggle to throw the football.  

When the Tigers’ defense went up against prolific offenses and proficient quarterbacks against Ole Miss and Florida State, it got exposed. Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis was 23 of 31 for 342 yards and four touchdowns against the Tigers. The LSU defense allowed Seminoles wide receiver Keon Coleman to thrive, catching nine passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns.  

Against LSU, Jaxson Dart and the Rebel offense put up their most impressive offensive performance of the year. Jaxson Dart totaled five touchdowns and 389 passing yards, averaging 10 yards per pass.  

His favorite target was wide receiver Tre Harris, who finished with eight catches and 153 yards. Running back Quinshon Judkins ran for 177 yards and the team finished with 317 rushing yards running for over 6.5 yards per carry.  

LSU has inexperience in the secondary with the losses of junior cornerbacks Zy Alexander and Duce Chestnut. The team will rely on four freshman and three sophomores to get the job done.  

“Eight games into the season, they know what they’re doing,” head coach Brian Kelly said. “We’re in a position where we feel comfortable and confident that they can get the job done.”  

Kelly believes three freshmen — in particular cornerbacks Jeremiah Hughes, Ashton Stamps and Javien Toviano — are fully capable of playing well enough to help LSU win a championship. 

Chunk plays and dominant wide receivers have torn up this LSU defense. Missouri wide receiver Luther Burden also exploded for 11 catches and 149 yards. But LSU linebacker Major Burns picked off Missouri quarterback Brady Cook and returned it for a touchdown, a play that has created a wave of momentum for the Tigers.  

After allowing over 30 points per game through six games, LSU has held its past two opponents to just 9 points per game. The Tigers also totaled 10 tackles for loss in those games. Some may chalk this up to just playing bad competition, but others may see it as a turning point for this LSU defense. Only time will tell. 

A lot of the problems the LSU defense has favor Alabama. LSU has sacked the quarterback only 1.9 times per game, which is 76th in the nation, and Alabama has given up the sixth-most sacks in the country. LSU has given up over 6 yards per play, which is 106th in the nation, according to teamrankings, and Alabama’s success on offense has largely been big plays downfield.  

“They’ve had some struggles in the secondary, some guys injured and different things like that,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “But they’ve also made some big plays with their rush and effecting the quarterback.”  

Jalen Milroe is third in the country in passing yards per attempt, averaging over 10 yards per pass attempt. He has completed over 60% of his passes thrown 20+ yards down the field. Wide receiver Jermaine Burton is fourth in the country in yards per catch, averaging over 20 yards per catch.  

Clearly, the struggles this LSU defense have had play perfectly into the strengths of this Alabama offense. Crimson Tide and Tigers fans should anticipate what adjustments each team will make come Saturday night at 6:45 p.m. CT at Bryant-Denny Stadium.   

More to Discover