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LSU VS ALABAMA 2023 PHASE III: PREDICTIONS

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IF YOU MISSED THEM

(Links to the first parts of our 2023 LSU-Alabama coverage)


Here it is.....The Game of the Season for elite SEC West programs LSU & Alabama, battling for the SEC West title in the last season of its existence (before the conference's realignment next season).....this is it....60+ minutes where everything is on the line, 60+ minutes where everything counts, 60+ minutes where LSU could either finish as bonafide championship contenders or being remembered as a team with nothing to show for their historic #1 offense......60+ minutes to prove it to the world, to showcase what you can do all game long....60+ minutes for the overlooked or underrated to rise to the top......
....60+ minutes where Jayden Daniels must prove he is the best quarterback & player in the country because we know, even as he is interviewed by national back-slappers & waist-grabbers like Tom Rinaldi & Marty Smith, Saturday night will be the only performance that matters to them.....

Unless Jayden Daniels throttles Alabama, he doesn't matter to those people....which is sad, disgusting, disgraceful and a firm indictment of what's wrong with college football....but nonetheless, true.

More?

The truth is these national voices are doing everything in their power to prevent LSU's starter from being crowned Heisman, including pushing the name of anyone & everyone who throws a football (as well as many who can't)....as long as it is NOT Jayden Daniels under any circumstances.....

.....but if he wins this game for a 2nd straight season, he will catapult all other candidates as the crystalized frontrunner....all of these national media jawbreakers will suddenly embrace JD5 as "the chosen one".

Plus, if LSU beat Alabama, it won't just be JD5 who reaps the rewards from another masterful performance atop the statistical standings:

Malik Nabers is already the Biletnikoff frontrunner, but if he can produce a dominant outing against elite corner Kool-Aid McKinstry (Nabers caught 2 passes from 3 targets for 16 yards, earning 2 first downs vs McKinstry last season, including 1 on 3rd down), then he'll truly be out in front, already over 1k yards if he earns 19 vs Alabama.

His WR teammate Brian Thomas Jr could also be joining him atop the Biletnikoff candidacy if he continues to rack up touchdowns (leading the nation with 11).

Fronting an offense earning over 500 total yards for 7 straight games, eclipsing 200 rushing yards vs 4 consecutive opponents, Brad Davis's trenchmen would find themselves a prime candidate for the Joe Moore Award (much like Malik Nabers' Biletnikoff candidacy, it's still a possibility for our star-studddd O-line to be nominated even without a CFP appearance, but definitely more difficult to win the award outright);

Linebacker Harold Perkins could all but seal a finalist position for the Butkus Award (let alone the award itself) if he produces another eye-popping game (you could easily make an argument he belongs as at least a finalist even without a CFP appearance);

O-linemen Charles Turner, Emery Jones Jr or Will Campbell could all position themselves for the Rimington or Outland Awards....

.....there are no ceilings on the kind of amazing, championship-tinged wonders that could stem from victory over Alabama on Saturday night...opening that pandora's box could provide yet another title-winning team at LSU........and, of course, rather hilariously, victory also supplies LSU another chance to play for one more week....

There has never been a 2 loss team selected for the College Football Playoff, but due to the timing of their defeats, Brian Kelly's squad have an ultimate chance to become the first:

Finishing with an 8-0 run after a 3-2 start, beating top 10 Alabama, Florida, delivering revenge against A&M, overcoming the #1 Georgia Bulldogs during a savage SEC Championship Game....with that resume, fielding the Heisman and Biletnikoff frontrunners, amid this rollercoaster 2007-esque college football landscape, it would be impossible to keep LSU out of the final four, especially due to the brand of offense the Tigers play winning ratings votes from committee members.

But none of that matters if LSU can't get through #8 Alabama.

Will LSU do this???

Will Kelly, Daniels, Denbrock, House, Perkins and Co deliver victory???

Our prediction below....


PREDICTION

I had no problem picking an LSU defeat vs Alabama....none whatsoever....and as I began my Crimson Tide / LSU film study, it dawned on me very quickly:

Whether it's Alabama's at times undisciplined defense, scattershot offensive line, inability to sustain offensive momentum, Tommy Rees' inexperience as a play-caller, alongside some hungry young Tiger defenders who I believe will play better than expected during game-defining sequences, I can't see Alabama outscoring LSU....which is exactly what Jalen Milroe and Tommy Rees' offense must pull off if they want to win.

In what will be the highest scoring showdown in series history, QBs Jayden Daniels and Jalen Milroe will put on a show of the highest order, Milroe throwing for 340 Yards & 3 TD passes while JD5 ascends to a higher dimension than ever before, tossing a career high 471 Yards, also rushing for 68 as he completes 5 TD passes (2 for Malik Nabers & 1 each to Brian Thomas Jr, Mason Taylor & Josh Williams), dazzling throughout the truest of Heisman displays, out-dueling his rival as they perform at their optimum, Daniels survives a few early drive-killing sacks to keep LSU's foot rammed down on the gas pedal throughout....

As much as they'll try, as much as they'll (in the end) accomplish from this grinding and at times grueling experience, LSU's young DBs will find this game to be brutal and unforgiving, although their rate of play won't be LSU's worst, defensively:

We'll witness missed tackles from every unit, safeties specifically, as well as from the linebackers and D-linemen, with Steeples' boundary corners actually pulling off the best tackles vs McClellan, Bond, or Milroe among others on the night. At the same time, LSU's defenders also rack up some stats and make some plays, batting some passes, routinely penetrating the backfield and disturbing Milroe's pocket....only to be hurt on the play extension / 2nd route improv.

Regardless of their profligate defensive play, Daniels & Co will just need a few stops from Matt House's defense, which they'll accomplish:

Following 3 quarters of one haymaker after another from LSU or Bama's offenses, both teams trading touchdown after touchdown, the score will be tied 35-35 at the start of the 4th quarter when things would finally change.

Thanks to an epic pick six by Javien Toviano, as well as a key 3 and out in their own territory on the next drive (a sack by Maason & Harold forcing a rare punt), Jayden Daniels will assume full control, taking advantage of the space granted his way.......icing the game with 3rd down completions to Taylor (Mason Taylor with a highly influential impact the entire game) followed by a TD bomb to Brian Thomas Jr.

Profiting off the attention sent Nabers' way, Thomas Jr and Mason Taylor both score late to crack the lead wide open....making it a multiple possession game....leaving Alabama with just enough time to cut the lead to 8, booting an onside kick with 23 seconds left (recovered by Gregory Clayton Jr).

In victory formation, JD5 knees the ball, finishing off a career night that will send his team to the top of the SEC West & keep their season goals alive....while his own name will subsequently rise to the apex of college football.

STAT PREDICTIONS

JD5: 471, 68, 5 TD Passes

NABERS: 113, 6 Catches, 2 TDs

THOMAS JR: 77 Yards, 1 TD

TAYLOR: 55 Yards, 1 TD

DIGGS: 86 Yards

PERKINS: 12 Tackles, 3 TFLs, 1.5 Sacks

JEFFERSON: 4 Tackles, 1.5 TFLs

SMITH: 4 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks

RYAN: 9 Tackles, 2 PBU, 1 TFL

PENN III: 6 Tackles, 0.5 TFL

STAMPS: 3 Tackles

TOVIANO: 1 INT Ret for TD, 4 Tackles, 0.5 TFL

YAITES: 5 Tackles, 1 PBU

SPEIGHTS: 7 Tackles

HUGHES: 4 Tackles, 0.5 TFL

WOMACK: 1 Sack

WEEKS: 3 Tackles, 1 QB Hit

SWINSON: 3 Pressures, 0.5 Sack

JONES: 4 Pressures, 0.5 Sack, 1 FF

BURNS: 8 Tackles, 1 PBU


LSU 49

ALABAMA 41


By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

©️ 2023 Uninterrupted Writings Inc, a subsidiary of Uninterrupted Media LLC

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