Alabama's last few games have gone a little something like this:
In the first half, Alabama is methodical on offense, marching down the field at will. It uses short passes and bruising runs to control the tempo and flow of the game. The only thing that stops Alabama's offense is itself.
On defense, Alabama shows no mercy. The Crimson Tide's defense is suffocating, relentless and unyielding, capitalizing on its opponent's mistakes and forcing it into even more.
It slows down by the second half, when the backups are in the game. Alabama may stumble every now and then and allow a score, but by that time the game is well in hand.
Outside of a shootout at Texas A&M, Alabama has been downright scary.
But that all changes in two weeks.
Since Nick Saban came to Tuscaloosa, Alabama's regular-season games against LSU have been decided by nine points or fewer. The Crimson Tide have doled out their signature beatdowns on just about everybody except the Tigers.
(There was that time they met in the national championship, where Alabama won 21-0, but bad things happen to teams when Nick Saban has a month to prepare for you.)
Yes, the Tigers have lost two games this season. At the risk of appearing to carry water for them, the losses were on the road in the SEC, where chaos has reigned supreme this year (outside, of course, of Alabama).
But the Tigers still have the talent to compete with Alabama.
Zach Mettenberger is having an incredible season throwing the football. He is second in the SEC in passing with 2,492 yards and passing touchdowns with 19.
He has two stud receivers in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. who can match up with anyone in the country. Alabama is still figuring out who its second cornerback is.
There is a perception out there that Saban's teams are more susceptible to scrambling quarterbacks, but the last three passers to have big days against Alabama have either been pocket passers or miracle workers.
On defense, the Tigers lost six starters in the offseason and have shown some weakness. They are allowing an average of 21.9 points and 351.7 yards per game.
So Alabama will be able to move the ball. This won't be a 9-6 game.
There is still nearly two weeks to break down, analyze, debate and predict how this game will go. If the last six years are any indication, it should be one to remember.
After a string of blowouts, Alabama fans had to be told by their coach to stay for the entire game last week and did. This time, they won't need any coaxing from Saban or any other incentives.
The game will be more than enough.
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