In perhaps the most hyped and important matchup of the college football season, the Alabama Crimson Tide face their stiffest test of the season in the LSU Tigers Saturday night at Tiger Stadium.
Last year, these two titans split their two games, with the Tigers capturing the first for SEC title, and Alabama snagging the national championship with 21-0 drubbing in the rematch.
Alabama has only gotten stronger this season with no team scoring more than 14 points in a single game against it's top-ranked, stalwart defense, and they continued that trend with a 38-7 smashing of Mississippi State last week.
The Tide built a 24-0 lead in the first half behind two touchdown passes from quarterback A.J. McCarron, and an 11-yard touchdown rush by running back T.J. Yeldon.
McCarron has yet to throw an interception this season, and has 18 touchdown passes for the year.
It was Alabama’s first win against a ranked opponent since they throttled Michigan to start the season, and many players said afterward they were seeking validation for their No. 1 ranking in the polls and the BCS.
The No. 5 Tigers are the one SEC team that could thwart Alabama’s national title plans, as they’ve rattled off two huge wins against then-No. 3 South Carolina, and last week’s 24-19 victory against then-No. 15 Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel.
LSU became the first team to keep the dual-threat Manziel completely out the end zone, and picked him off three times.
The Tigers were down 12-0 in the second quarter, but rallied with 24 straight points, and running back Jeremy Hill’s 127 yards and touchdown on 18 carries.
Quarterback Zach Mettenberger avoided an interception for the first time in two games, and went 11-for-29 for 97 yards and a touchdown.
The two storied teams have been responsible for 11 NFL first-round picks in the last two drafts, and according to the New York Times, 56 players in Saturday’s epic matchup could play professionally in the future.
The contest begins at 8 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast by CBS, or you can watch their live online stream at CBS Sports here.
Prediction: The Tigers offense and Mettenberger will have to be perfect against Alabama in order to have a shot Saturday. If McCarron takes care of the ball like he has all season, the Crimson Tide defense will take care of the rest for a tight victory.
Betting Odds: Alabama is favored by 9 points
Over/Under: 39 points
Predicted Score: Alabama 21, LSU 13