Friday, November 07, 2008

Nick Saban returns to Tiger Stadium

#1 Alabama @ #15 LSU
Saturday, November 8, 2008 - 3:30 EST
Tiger Stadium - Baton Rouge, LA
Alabama -3


Summary
Satan returns...well that is how LSU fans view former Tiger coach Nick Saban as he returns to Baton Rouge with the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide...however, people forget that Saban has coached at Tiger Stadium since leaving LSU...after Hurricane Katrina shutdown the Superdome, the Miami Dolphins played the New Orleans Saints in Baton Rouge before a half empty stadium...so Saban has prowled the LSU sidelines since leaving...

This is the first time Alabama has been ranked #1 in the Associated Press poll since the end of the 1992 season...the Tide has a 19-5 record all-time as the nation's top ranked team...in this series, Alabama leads 43-23-5, but LSU has won the last five meetings...

Alabama is about the run...they average 205 yards/game while the Bama defense allows only 65 yards/game...Glen Coffee (photo, below) has rushed for 894 yards and 7 TDs and stablemate Mark Ingram has chipped in 533 yards and 8 TDs...they run behind a NFL caliber O-line which is led by future NFL first-rounder Andre Smith (6'5", 330) at left tackle...

Alabama has the second best run defense in the nation and fourth overall...the defense has allowed only 6 points in the first quarter all year...however, they do weaken a bit as the game progresses...interestingly, the Alabama offense also sputters as the game wears on...they scored 108 points in the 1st quarter, 90 (2nd quarter), 55 (3rd quarter), and 37 (4th quarter)...this was evident in the Georgia game as they led 31-0 at half and held on to win 41-30...

LSU is 6-2, but their 2 losses have been bad...they got thumped at Florida 51-21 and then belted by Georgia at home 52-38...the defense also gave up 21 points to then 9th ranked Auburn back in September...

LSU is ranked 29th in rushing offense and is led by Charles Scott (photo, below) with 889 yards and 11 TDs...the QB position has been a sore spot all year...combined, Jarrett Lee and Andrew Hatch have thrown for 14 TDs and 11 INTs...

ESPN College Gameday will be live in Baton Rouge...

Quick Numbers
Offensive Numbers
Ala - Rushing per game - 205 yards
LSU - Rushing per game - 186 yards

Ala - Passing per game - 163 yards
LSU - Passing per game - 218 yards

Defensive Numbers
Ala - Rushing allowed - 65 yards
LSU - Rushing allowed - 105 yards

Ala - Passing allowed - 185 yards
LSU - Passing allowed - 192 yards

What the experts say
The Gold Sheet - TCU 20-15
Pointwise - TCU 30-20
Power Sweep - TCU

Here is the weekly press release from the SEC...
  • SEC Game Notes


  • Matt Zemek of College Football News gives his perspective of the game... "It’s no secret that LSU fans hate Saban something fierce. Tiger partisans feel, with understandable justification, that on Christmas Night of 2004, the man whose last name is very close to that diabolical entity (just substitute a "t" for a "b" in the middle) got comfortable with evil." ...
  • Matt Zemek


  • Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0) - Head Coach Nick Saban
    Here are the Alabama game notes for the LSU game...
  • Alabama Game Notes


  • Wright Thompson of ESPN the Magazine writes about the hatred Nick Saban will face at LSU... "The LSU fans will tell Saban just how much they hate him in person on Nov. 8, when the Alabama coach brings his top-ranked Tide to Baton Rouge. As a rule, LSU opponents must park their buses and walk into the stadium in open air, protected, sort of, by police barricades. LSU fans chant "Tiger bait" over and over. But when Saban and his team come to town, that walk will be more than scary, presuming local authorities allow it to happen at all. LSU police say they will have extra security at the stadium and along the Bama bus route. "It's gonna take the 82nd Airborne to get him into Tiger Stadium," the Big Ragoo says." ...
  • Wright Thompson


  • Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News writes how Saban's return is overshadowing Alabama's first week as #1... "I thought Alabama's ranking and the BCS implications of the upcoming game would win the day. I misjudged the demographic. Instead, Saban's return to Tiger Stadium was the landslide winner — even though it is peripheral to what the Crimson Tide is trying to accomplish." ...
  • Cecil Hurt


  • LSU Tigers (6-2) - Head Coach Les Miles
    Here is the LSU game notes for the Alabama game...
  • LSU Game Notes


  • Christopher Walsh of the Tuscaloosa News writes how LSU head coach Les Miles still has the shadow of Saban over him... "It’s especially true this week, with the coach he’ll always be compared to, Nick Saban, returning to Tiger Stadium for the first time with the University of Alabama football team, which just happens to be undefeated and ranked No. 1." ...
  • Christopher Walsh


  • Jim Kleinpeter of the New Orleans Picayune writes how Miles denies calling Saban the devil... ""Are you kidding me?" Miles said during Wednesday's SEC coaches teleconference when asked if he'd called Saban the devil. "No. Not in any way." ...
  • Jim Kleinpeter


  • ESPN's Mark Schlabach gives his thoughts on Nick Saban's return to Baton Rouge...

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