Why Alabama Will Beat LSU

Gary BrownCorrespondent IIOctober 30, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22:  Damion Square #92, Josh Chapman #99 and C.J. Mosley #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

All of the significant indicators give signal that the match between LSU and Alabama should be an exciting one to watch when the two teams meet in Tuscaloosa Saturday, but are there advantages that give the Tide an edge over the Tigers?

It takes digging deep, but here are a few reasons to expect Alabama to win this classic SEC battle.


Alabama scores on long drives more often

Alabama averages 39.4 points per game compared to 39.2 for LSU. In political polling they would say that number is within the margin of era. So does one team have an offensive edge over the other? Go with Alabama. A.J. McCarron and crew gain 85.5 yards more per game than LSU.

LSU does a great job of producing points in the red zone, scoring on 97.4 percent of their opportunities. What has to be noted is that a number of LSU’s red-zone appearances have been set up by turnovers created by the defense.

While Alabama has only scored on 85.4 percent of their trips into the red zone, far fewer have resulted from field position created by the Tide’s defense.

Why then do the total offense numbers favor 'Bama? Alabama’s offense has shown a greater ability than LSU to sustain drives that results in points. Given the nature of these two defenses, the offense that can be more productive will be a key difference in the game’s outcome.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 02:  Dre Kirkpatrick #21 of the Alabama Crimson Tide intercepts a pass intended for Trey Burton #8 of the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


Third-down defense

Both teams are stout on third down, but 'Bama is just a little stouter. LSU holds the opposition on 32.5 percent of their opponents third-down attempts. Alabama stops the other team on 26.4 percent of third-down tries.

Given the tough defensive nature of these two teams, the ability to extend drives will be one of the keys to success. The performance of the Tide’s “D” gives Alabama another slight advantage over the Tigers.

Oh, 'Bama is also slightly better on third-down offense than LSU.


Red-zone defense

Can Alabama get the football into the red zone? If so, they stand a good chance of scoring. LSU has allowed the opposition to score on 15 of their 16 possessions into the pivotal area. Meanwhile the Tide’s defense has only given up six scores to the other team in nine trips to the red zone.

Do all these advantages add up to a 'Bama win when they play LSU? Well, every advantage will matter in this game.

Up next…reasons LSU will beat Alabama.