Kneauxing the Enemy
Record 8-0, 5-0 SEC
Q & A
Alabama, as usual, is the sum of its parts. There is nobody on the team who stands out statistically.
Question: How good is Alabama’s defense?
Answer: The Tide is the number one team in the country in total defense. They allow 236 yards per game and 3.93 yards per play. Alabama is tops in the nation in rush defense, allowing 2.31 per run. They allow 66.4 yards per game on the ground, and opponents have scored only two rushing touchdowns all season. Alabama is number one in scoring defense, allowing 9.8 points per game.
Sophomore Raekwon Davis, a defensive lineman, has 5.5 sacks for Alabama. Senior linebacker Rashaan Evans has six tackles for losses (tfls). The leading tackler for Alabama is junior defensive back Ronnie Harrison. He has 44 tackles, 25 solos, and two sacks. Senior linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton has 37 tackles, 18 solos, and 5.5 tfls. Alabama has seven or more players with at least 30 tackles.
Question: How good is the Alabama offense?
Answer: On offense, the Tide has piled up 2499 yards rushing for the season. It is an average of 298.8 yards per game running the ball. They average 6.3 yards per rush. Alabama has nobody averaging 100 yards rushing per game. However, they do have eight runners who average 5.1 yards or more per carry. Junior Damien Harris is the leading rusher on the team with 697 yards on the season. Harris averages 8.16 yards per run. Sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts has 572 yards running, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Junior Bo Scarbrough has 377 yards rushing. He averages a paltry 4.7 yards per rush.
Hurts, no stranger to LSU fans, is a playmaker at the quarterback position. In addition to his rushing capabilities, he has completed 62.9 percent of his passes. He has thrown for 1,223 yards, nine touchdowns, and only one interception.
Alabama has nine receivers who average at least 12.76 yards per catch. Junior Steven Ridley has 523 yards receiving, tops on the team, while averaging 12.76 yards per catch. He has caught 41 passes. Freshman Jerry Jeudy has 12 receptions on the season for 208 yards. He averages 17.33 yards per grab. Senior Cam Sims has nine receptions for 140 yards, averaging 15.56 per reception. Freshman Henry Ruggs III, has 112 yards catching with five touchdown receptions. He averages 22.40 yards per catch.
The Alabama offense operates behind an experienced offensive line. Left guard Ross Pierschbacher, senior center Bradley Bozeman, and junior right guard Lester Cotton make up a veteran interior offensive line which has not been challenged, yet.
It has been proven, over the last six years, it takes a special recipe for a team to beat Alabama. Here are some more questions.
Does LSU have a mobile quarterback who can make plays in and out of the pocket?
Do the Tigers have a passing game that can pass for at least 250 yards against the Tide?
Can the purple and gold control the offensive and defensive line of scrimmages for 80 percent of the game?
Do the Tigers have enough playmakers on defense? People who can cause fumbles, interceptions? People, on offense, who can constantly break big plays when they touch the ball?
There is a slight possibility Alabama may not be a great team, because they have not been tested, with the possible exception of the Florida State game. Is it possible they may have a bad game?
If the answers to 80 percent of these questions are yes, the Purple and Gold have the recipe for victory.