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Alabama's Kenyan Drake has been an effective back behind Alabama's talented offensive line.
Keep LSU's Defense Guessing
Alabama's play-calling against LSU has improved over the years. The Tide have been effective by calling a wide variety of plays to keep the Tigers off-balance.
LSU's defense had its best game against Florida, mainly because the Gators are limited on offense. The Tigers struggled against Ole Miss and Georgia due to the diversity of those teams' offenses.
Last season, the Crimson Tide averaged 6.6 yards per carry against the Tigers mostly through simple runs up the gut. Expect a heavy dose of T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake.
Pass plays were open early, but quarterback AJ McCarron was not sharp until the final drive. McCarron missed a wide-open Amari Cooper early in the second quarter that would have resulted in an easy touchdown.
Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is great at spreading the football around and achieving balance between running and throwing. He will try to use LSU's communication issues and of lack of speed on defense to his advantage on Saturday.
Make Zach Mettenberger Uncomfortable
Nick Saban has not lost to a pocket quarterback since 2008. Saban looks to keep it that way on Saturday.
Saban's reputation for stopping elite QBs has taken a hit the past two seasons. Mettenberger, Johnny Manziel and Aaron Murray have all had some of their best career games against the Crimson Tide.
Look for the Alabama defense to blitz Mettenberger while locking down Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry on the outside. Saban knows LSU has had some inconsistency from its other receivers, so the Crimson Tide will force these other players to make plays.