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USA TODAY staff predictions for No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 LSU showdown

It is this yr’s Recreation of the Century. Sure, there may be some sarcasm there. However the recreation is lovely massive and has primary School Soccer Playoff ramifications.

No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 LSU have been the ultimate two groups on the most sensible of the Amway Coaches Ballot to play right through the common season 8 years in the past. That recreation completed Nine-6 in additional time and no touchdowns have been scored. That most likely would possibly not be the case this yr as each offenses rank within the most sensible 5 within the nation in scoring. 

Along with most likely deciding the SEC West, this recreation will have to additionally have an effect on the Heisman Trophy race with LSU’s Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa a few of the most sensible contenders for the award. The winner will have to get an enormous spice up. 

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa carries for a 44-yard touchdown against LSU during their game in 2018.

The US TODAY Community school soccer group of workers make their selections for the sport.

Jace Evans

The Tigers haven’t overwhelmed the Red Tide since their ultimate 1 vs. 2 “Recreation of the Century” assembly in 2011 and feature no longer cracked 20 issues on this annually contention matchup since 2010. Sure, LSU’s offense is way advanced … however Alabama’s offense nonetheless may well be higher. Tua Tagovailoa is meant to be again and a Tigers protection that falls in a little bit at the back of the Tide’s should navigate this recreation with out Michael Divinity. There may in fact be some scoring by way of either side this yr, however the select is for the house workforce to succeed.

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Paul Myerberg

The prediction: Alabama 31, LSU 27. We already know each offenses are excellent, even though we received’t till some level on Saturday afternoon simply how smartly Alabama navigates offensively as Tua Tagovailoa recovers from his injured ankle. What’s unknown is the total high quality of each defenses. Relative to the remainder of the FBS, each the Tide and Tigers rank within the most sensible 20 nationally in yards allowed according to play. It says one thing about every program’s contemporary historical past that the protection is believe the weaker aspect of the ball. When it comes all the way down to it, the cause of choosing Tagovailoa and the Tide isn’t too difficult: Alabama simply beats LSU, which hasn’t received a recreation on this collection for the reason that Nine-6 epic in 2011.

George Schroeder

With Joe Burrow passing from the unfold, LSU is a distinct animal than we’ve ever observed. In the meantime, Alabama has no longer but been examined in opposition to an excessively comfortable time table – it’s so comfortable loss would possibly successfully get rid of the Red Tide from School Soccer Playoff competition. However LSU’s fabulous offense has coated some important defensive problems; in opposition to an offense a minimum of as tough, the ones might be uncovered. Alabama wins a wacky, Large 12-style shootout, extending the Tide’s profitable streak within the collection to 9 in a row.

Erick Smith

There may be in spite of everything an expectation that the Tigers can ranking with Alabama after simply placing up simply 10 blended issues within the ultimate 3 conferences between the colleges. The larger query now could be how smartly LSU can forestall the Red Tide. A lot of that is determined by the well being of Tua Tagovailoa. The Alabama quarterback will have to be again within the lineup 3 weeks after ankle surgical treatment, however his effectiveness is unsure.

The Tigers allowed 38 in opposition to Texas and 28 to Florida. Even 38 to Vanderbilt. They will combat to check up with the Alabama receiving team and the house crowd will for sure have an have an effect on. To carry serve, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow should be remarkable and there should be some turnovers. The Tigers will come nearer than contemporary video games. But it surely would possibly not be sufficient. Alabama 34, LSU 30.

Eddie Timanus

In a bizarre scheduling quirk, Alabama and LSU meet of their 9th recreation of the season with no need confronted a not unusual opponent but regardless of taking part in in the similar department of the SEC. It’s moderately obvious, then again, that the Tigers have needed to paintings so much more difficult to get to Eight-Zero than the Red Tide have. Relatively merely, this yr’s model of Alabama hasn’t observed a workforce with this a lot offensive hearth energy. Will the Tide be in a position? Positive, as in a position as they may be able to be. However the Bayou Bengals have already confronted a few gifted defenses and are available out on most sensible. Sure, it’s in Tuscaloosa, however that is the yr the Tigers destroy the streak. LSU, 38-27.

Dan Wolken

With the unknown of Tua Tagovailoa’s well being and the truth that Alabama simply hasn’t performed any individual of end result this season, that is as tough a recreation to handicap as Alabama and LSU have performed in a very long time. So I’ll throw all analytics and monitor file out the window right here and pass with LSU according to not anything greater than a intestine feeling that this has been their yr from the start. The entirety has damaged proper for the Tigers up to now and it’s going to proceed in Tuscaloosa, 34-28, with Joe Burrow pulling into the lead within the Heisman race.

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