Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
You cannot handle the Randle!
Both teams are 7-1 and coming off a bye.
The whole world is expecting Alabama to win out and get to the Iron Bowl with a 10-1 record. But LSU has some other plans for the Crimson Tide Saturday in Baton Rouge. Key words there: BATON ROUGE. Never assume a win in that part of the country. Death Valley will be rockin'.
Here is my weekly, score-by-score prediction that I will likely not be correct on but I just say, "What the heck!":
The Crimson Tide gets the ball first and they drive down the field. But after a catch near the goal-line, Julio Jones fumbles into the end zone, where it is recovered by the Bayou Bengals. It's still 0-0. After the LSU offense led by (LSU fan: "Sigh") Jordan Jefferson stalls on a three-and-out, Bama gets the ball back. The Tide powers its way down the field, and then Trent Richardson scores on a 13-yard run out of the Pistol formation. After one quarter, it's 7-0 Alabama.
In the second, after a long stretch of great defense, the Tide finally moves the ball again, getting inside of the 35-yard line. But McElroy, on second down, is pressured by Drake Nevis, and the ball floats into the waiting hands of Patrick Peterson, who does some dances, picks up a convoy and takes it all the way back for an LSU touchdown. So outside of being outgained 175-50, LSU is tied with Alabama at 7-7. But not for long. McElroy responds with a quick drive before halftime, ending with a fade route pass that Julio Jones catches in the corner of the end zone for a TD. Think about his 2008 catch against Georgia. It resembles that. Alabama leads LSU at halftime, 14-7.
In the third quarter, defense continues to dominate the day, as the only points come off a field goal for Alabama. At the end of the third quarter, Alabama leads LSU 17-7, outgaining the Tigers 282-103.
Here comes the fourth quarter. One more quarter before Alabama will begin its roll back to the Iron Bowl and possibly the BCS Title Game. But not if LSU has anything to say about it. After totaling 103 yards on every previous drive combined, LSU takes the ball from the 5-yard line and, in a matter of 18 plays, score. Ridley takes a pitch and scores from two yards out. LSU trails Bama still, 17-14. Bama gets the ball back, chews up some clock, but in the red zone they can't punch it in. On comes Alabama's kicker... who misses it. Wide right. Death Valley in a frenzy. At night, not a good situation for Alabama. There's three minutes on the clock, and LSU has one timeout. Surely, Les won't butcher it again, right? LSU consumes a good bit of time getting from the 14-yard line to midfield, as only 46 seconds remain when LSU is at the 50-yard line. Then, a play that will be remembered forever happens in Baton Rouge. Jarrett Lee, who led the long TD drive last time as well and has now taken the reins as LSU's full-time QB, lofts it up in the air with all his strength. Reuben Randle is in coverage, doubled to be exact, but the ball lands right in his hands with two guys right on him as he then is pushed out of bounds, but not before he crossed the plane. TOUCHDOWN, Louisiana State! Death Valley is in a frenzy! We might have Earthquake part two! 35 seconds remain, and Alabama is on the edge of another loss and basic elimination from SEC contention. McElroy leads the Tide down the field to the 30-yard line. But on the last play of the game, his pass to the end zone is incomplete. That epic Iron Bowl for a spot in the BCS Title going to the winner? 11-0 Auburn and 10-1 Alabama? FORGET ABOUT IT! LSU pulls an absolute stunner in Death Valley, and Les Miles becomes a hero. As does Jarrett Lee.