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Alabama, LSU ready to fight for their BCS lives

Published 7:58am Saturday, November 6, 2010

With both teams down but not out of the national title hunt, today’s meeting between Alabama and LSU will be one of the most watched games in the nation.

Both squads have one loss and are still capable of earning a spot in the national title game if they win out and get a little help.

The Crimson Tide has the easier route of the two teams since it still has to play Auburn and LSU lost to Auburn two weeks ago.

Both teams will be well rested coming of bye weeks for both programs.

Alabama’s offense features Greg McElroy, who ranks eighth nationally in passing efficiency. He has passed for 1,781 yards, 11 touchdowns and thrown three interceptions.

Receiver Julio Jones has 45 receptions for 669 yards and three touchdowns. His average of 5.62 catches per game if fourth in the Southeastern Conference and is tied for 35th nationally.

Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson give the Crimson Tide and explosive running back tandem.

LSU had one of the best defenses in the nation heading into the Auburn game, but allowed Auburn to roll up 440 rushing yards. The Tigers are looking to show that was a fluke.

LSU’s defense is still the top-rated unit in the SEC, allowing an average of 277.6 total yards per game and is second in scoring defense, allowing an average of 15.6 points per game.

Drake Nevis is fourth in the SEC with five sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss. Kelvin Sheppard leads the LSU defense with 73 tackles while defensive back Patrick Peterson is considered one of the best defensive players in the nation.

There is no question LSU has a good defense, but the Tiger offense remains suspect.

Running back Stevan Ridley leads the Tigers with 723 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Receivers Rueben Randle and Terrence Toliver have 25 receptions each.

LSU uses a dual-quarterback system with Jordan Jefferson passing for 623 yards and two touchdowns while Jarrett Lee has thrown for 448 yards and two touchdowns. Jefferson also has 281 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.

If the LSU offense, which is averaging 25.5 points per game, can’t perform consistently, it will be a long day in Baton Rouge.

Alabama’s defense is first in the SEC and second nationally in scoring defense, allowing 12.5 points per game.

Robert Lester has five interceptions while Dre Kirkpatrick has three. As a team Alabama is second nationally with 15 interceptions.

Mark Barron leads the team with 52 tackles.

Both teams feature dangerous kick return specialists. Alabama’s Richardson is third in the SEC with an average punt return of 27.45 yards.

LSU’s Peterson leads the SEC in punt returns with a 19.7 average and is second in the league in kick return average (27.5).

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