Alabama Crimson Tide

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Before the Game

Key Players: Tua Tagovailoa (QB), Najee Harris (RB), the entire offensive line, Jerry Jeudy (WR), Henry Ruggs (WR)

 

Heading into the game, the biggest question mark was the health of Heisman Candidate Tua Tagovailoa, who sustained an ankle injury in an earlier game against the University of Tennessee. However, after surgery and rehab, coach Nick Saban said that Tua will be ready to go. I think that Alabama must have Tua to win this game, but it will be a matter of if his newly repaired ankle will hold up or not. 

The Alabama defense has looked a bit iffy at times thus far, and I know that LSU has the ability to put up a high number of points. The ability to get the ball to receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs will be key, and if that isn’t possible, the Tide will need to rely on the ground game, with the offensive line and Najee Harris being responsible for that. 

I don’t know how this game will turn out, but there is a very good chance that it will not go Alabama’s way. But if the Tide manage to pull off a win with the home crowd behind them, they will basically be a lock once again for the College Football Playoff. Roll Tide!

 

The Aftermath

This was a very close game that could have gone either way. Alabama was awful the first half and spent the rest of the game playing catch-up. The Tide have always been a second-half team, but that does not excuse the number of mistakes that were committed throughout the game. The fumble by Tua on the first drive was inexcusable. I understand that he just came from surgery on his ankle, but he simply dropped the ball on what could have been a scoring drive that could have made all the difference. Not only that, but the defense appeared to have no idea what direction to go in on their own field. I guess Saban had them memorize a map or something, because they looked much better after halftime. What made me grind my teeth was the sheer amount of penalties that the Tide committed in the game. You can’t kill yourself with penalties, and Alabama has been pretty good about that with the exception of this game. I think what Alabama needs is a chance to take a breath, analyze what went wrong, learn from it, and rebound. The game’s highlights for me were Jalen Waddle’s punt return touchdown in the first half (he looked like he got slingshotted and then shot out of a cannon) and Tua Tagovailoa’s final touchdown pass, an 85 yard rocket to Devonta Smith that put the game back within reach in the final minutes.

All in all, it was a great game to watch, and Alabama just can’t win them all. A 5 point game is absolutely respectable, and Alabama has a chance to learn from their mistakes and to improve before hopefully playing in a rematch in the College Football Playoff (fingers crossed).

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