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THERE WILL BE BLOOD: LSU vs ALABAMA PREDICTION & FINAL DIAGNOSIS

by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


The final frontier before the madness begins...remember remember the 5th of November....

What's in store for us when LSU and Alabama kick off on Saturday night inside Tigers Stadium's majestic haze???

Due to strong reports concerning a deluge of rainfall in the area this Saturday, Death Valley may become a field of blood and broth, a night where everything hinges on the trenches, running the ball and violent defense....a picturesque image of molten pain.
Could we be looking at a throwback to the early 2010s, where every time these two programs collided, we witnessed swarms of brutal mayhem; few prisoners were taken, even fewer points allowed...and both teams aimed to annihilate one another from the face of the earth....remnants we could sense within last year's medieval affair???

Or, are we about to see another shootout between two strong quarterbacks, much like 2019's high stakes / pseudo-playoff game between Burrow and Tua?

One thing is for certain:
There will be blood.
When I arrive at the time to make a decision....who will win this game, I am living in suspended emotional animation........but would an LSU win be merely a homer pick?
Or could it be possible someone might actually believe this stitched together 2022 Tigers squad are good enough to beat Alabama at home during a one game winner-take-all scenario?
Most will travel the easiest path towards a non-asskicking from online zingbots, but I don't really mind.....I am picking this game, like all picks on this site, based on what I've seen & not what I've heard.

But first....some final frontier thoughts as we look down upon a falling horizon...one which will hopefully birth a new dawn....ticking away the hours until LSU take to the field and face eternal enemies Alabama....for all of the SEC West and College Football Playoff marbles.


JAYDEN DANIELS MUST ROUTINELY FIND LSU'S BEST PLAYMAKERS....OF COURSE

Offensively, LSU has just a single 100 yard rusher and receiver all year, Josh Williams' 106 yards & Kayshon Boutte's 115 vs Florida, a symptom of Jayden Daniels' run-first mentality and an offensive set-up tailored to unleash their QB's outstanding athletic adventures.

Against Alabama, you may want to limit the amount of rushes from Daniels and give those touches to your other top playmakers, namely Kayshon Boutte.

Inexplicably, Boutte has just 27 catches for 288 yards and a single touchdown after 8 games....compare that haul with his 9 touchdowns across 6 games last season and you can understand why questions are being asked of everyone offensively involved. In even greater context, Boutte's 288 yards through 8 appearances of constant snaps and limited targets still hasn't topped his single game freshman haul of 308 vs Ole Miss, an SEC single game receiving record which still stands.

How can we get #7 the ball 10+ times against Alabama??

How can we replicate Kayshon's dynamic showing vs Florida where his opportunities came thick and fast?

The secret may lie in hitting throws to Jack Bech and Mason Taylor, setting up the deep shot or crossing route killers for Kayshon & Malik Nabers.

LSU must throw the football to win this game....there is no way around it, although involving so many receiving personnel could stunt Daniels & his teammates' ability to lock into a rhythm.

The target men should be Boutte, Nabers, Thomas Jr, Bech and Jenkins....our best five.

Daniels doesn't have to sling it for 350, however he must continue his brilliance converting 1st downs through the air:

The So Cal born QB tossed 28 passing first downs over his last two games, 10 on 3rd down alone.


IF LSU RUSH FOR OVER 200 YARDS, THEY WILL HAVE A GREAT CHANCE TO WIN

Just as the title declares, LSU's backfield production will go a long way to deciding this game in their favor.

If John Emery Jr, Armoni Goodwin, Jayden Daniels and Josh Williams all rush for 50 yards each, then that mark is possible.

But they'll be running into Alabama's stout rushing defense, only allowing 93.9 yards per game on the ground, holding 4 different schools under 80 yards total.....still, they bent a lot more against both Arkansas and Tennessee, giving up 187 and 182 to each team respectively.

It can be done....although it will take patience and perseverance from our young offensive linemen on the wings, Will Campbell and Emery Jones.

Additonally, rotating Frank Wilson's running backs will be paramount, not just who but how or when, Wilson and Denbrock constantly on the lookout for matchups.

If LSU can generate momentum on the ground, it will be a longer night for Alabama in both primary phases....forced to engage in consistent contact through the teeth of their defense, while Jayden Daniels exposes the space off the edge, receivers gain ground on the perimeter or over the middle, while Bryce Young is stranded as a sideline spectator for long stretches.


PRESSURE BRYCE YOUNG ALL GAME

Matt House will be forced to take risks, sending more frequent blitzers from a variety of angles which could potentially leave gaps in behind for Bryce Young to exploit through the air.

But LSU have no choice...it is the only way to salvation here: complete savagery and demolition against Young, fortified by controlled, sometimes reactive delayed blitzes and random kamikaze shots off the edge or late through the interior.

2022 standout Mekhi Wingo and key junior Jaquelin Roy each must be on their A+ game, destabilizing Alabama's front and keeping Young worried about what's going on centrally....while Ojulari, Saivion Jones or Perkins dangerously approach off the edge.

Speaking of Saivion Jones: this could be a game where his range and speed are required.

The sophomore has 9 total pressures in just 144 snaps, including 14 tackles, 7 stops, 3 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, 3 QB hits, 5 hurries and is currently LSU's 6th overall rated defender.

If LSU can continually hit and harass the hell out of Bryce Young, this game could be something special for the whole family.


LSU NEED TURNOVERS & POINTS OFF TURNOVER

I believe Kelly's Tigers will require at least one touchdown created by turnover in order to beat Alabama....and it appears the most likely culprits will either be an interception by Jay Ward, LSU's turnover king since 2019 or Harold Perkins & BJ Ojulari conjuring up a fumble via strip sack.

Rattling Young by picking off his passes would complete LSU's intimidation.


LIMIT JAHMYR GIBBS

Alabama's versatile running back Jahmyr Gibbs has 6 rushing scores, 672 yards from 98 carries (6.9 average) while racking up 301 receiving yards, 3 touchdown catches & reeling in 31 passes as he has consistently performed for Nick Saban. Gibbs is Alabama's strongest weapon outside of Young's footballing IQ.....he is undoubtedly a complete football player...and he must be stopped.

Alongside worries Bryce Young and Cameron Latu, Gibbs is the one offensive player from Alabama I fear could cause LSU the most fits on Saturday.

He tends to pick his way through pass rushers and turn back to Bryce Young in sudden, newfound space, burning off 25 yard plays at a clip.

Gibbs is a sickening talent, capable of debilitating any defense single-handedly when playing with a quarterback of Bryce Young's caliber....not to mention his searing pace in between the tackles, too.

How can LSU stop him?

I believe you live with some of his rushing production, but you cannot let him get going through the air.

Not only will that scenario wear down Matt House's defense, it would likely give Young just enough extra time and space in the passing game....allowing the reigning Heisman to sit back and pick LSU apart.

Luckily, the Tigers possess enough speed at DE and outside linebacker to limit Gibbs.

This is a game where our cornerbacks must keep contain, while Ojulari, Perkins, Baskerville and possibly the resurgence of speedy Mike Jones Jr become absolutely pivotal when facing a dual threat powerburner such as Jahmyr Gibbs.

Match speed with speed....knowing defenders like Wingo, Baskerville, Ward and Brooks Jr will constantly find their way to the ball carrier from anywhere, with our corners, Ojulari, Perkins, possibly Mike Jones Jr using their pace as well as the sideline to kick Gibbs back inside.


THE CROWD FACTOR

Death Valley....

Saturday night....

Against Alabama....

You know what that means....

An insane atmosphere, plenty of high octane buildup, there will be a hellish Tiger choir rising above the din, yet I wonder:

Will these two teams reflect the passion, intensity and excitement back at this expectant crowd?

How much of a factor will crowd noise play in aiding Matt House's defense, specifically concerning LSU making plays in the backfield?

Saturday night's raging Death Valley assembly must supply the noise when Bryce Young steps on the field and the support when Jayden Daniels is taking snaps.

This should be an extraordinary night of college football pageantry, a crowd immersed in belief....cheering on a Tigers squad ready to square off vs the best to be the best.


PREDICTION TIME

This is tough.

Every part of my heart and soul is screaming "LSU ARE GOING TO DO THIS!!!"....then, my brain starts bashing me over the frontal lobe, ordering me to "GET REAL!!!"

Brian Kelly's 2022 Tigers are a flawed group, chiefly their early game "points handouts", poor special teams organization, overall lack of depth at DB or punch at WR, and a QB who can be too reliant on his own athleticism being chief issues.

This is a team who built up their showdown vs top 5 Tennessee, only to collapse before the hot dog stands had even warmed up...

At the same time, Alabama are as flawed as Nick Saban could possibly tolerate, nearly choking in Austin, escaping due to a last second field goal 20-19 against Texas;

2022 Alabama almost succumbed to defeat on board Jimbo Fisher's SS Toxic Pariah, dodging an eternally embarrassing loss 24-20 in an ugly contest from both programs;

Then, of course, Saban's Tide ran into a buzz saw Tennessee outfit, racking up 52 points and over 567 yards, including Bama's season high rushing total (182).

But this isn't an Alabama team who've failed to remain competitive or fight back from deficits....

On the other hand, responding to adversity is LSU's modus operandi, they've almost compelled adversity with these massive early deficits.....plus, Alabama aren't going to be able to rattle the chill from poised veteran Jayden Daniels.

Another aspect of Kelly's Tigers no one is talking about?

Outside of relinquishing their 3-0 opening drive lead to Florida State in Week 1, LSU haven't given up any lead for any stretch of time in any game since. Once this squad turned it on, they became a different team altogether.

Which is what makes this pick all the more difficult....

Bryce Young...

Jayden Daniels...

Will Anderson & Henry To'o To'o....

BJ Ojulari & Harold Perkins....

Kool-aid....

Eli Ricks returning to Tigers Stadium for an incredible storyline....a major psychological test of wills for Ricks, taking on former teammates Kayshon Boutte, Malik Nabers, Jaray Jenkins, Brian Thomas Jr and Jack Bech....

.....another mini pocket of storylines: Sage Ryan, Brian Thomas Jr, Kayshon Boutte all facing the team they could've joined....

A sold out Tigers Stadium on Saturday night, in front of a who's who of recruits, celebrities, celebrity recruits, LSU legends, media luminaries and the wildest fanbase in all of American sports.....

Kelly vs Saban....

Saban vs Kelly....

As if the two are about to dawn sumo gear and go at it right then and there...Saban looking like Palpateen.

This is a battle royale each head coach has been desperate for....now, these two conquerors of their trade get their wish at least once a season.

How can one decide?

How can one choose?

When the heart knows what it wants,

And that's for Alabama to lose.


LSU 34

ALABAMA 30


WHAT HAVE WE DONE????

NO WE DIDN'T....

NO WAY...

BUCKLE UP


DEF. MVP PREDICTION

BJ Ojulari

2.5 Sacks, 4 TFL, 9 Tackles, 1 FF


OFF. MVP PREDICTION

Kayshon Boutte

186 Yards, 7 Catches, 2 TDs


By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips

©️ 2022 Uninterrupted Writings Inc


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If the rain is still brutal at kick off, we lose. If the rain stops and Jayden can throw the ball and use RPO, we have an even chance. I think the rain stops by or close to kick off and we kick ass. LSU 31 Alabama 24

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