College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Alabama vs. LSU 12/5/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Alabama visits LSU on 12/5/2020 at 8:00PM.

Alabama and LSU face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Alabama has a record of 8-0 this season. LSU is 3-4 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Alabama Team Defense Preview

Alabama has had 81 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.25 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive opponents run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Passing plays make up 52.47% of their opponents’ play calls.Alabama tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

Defenses want to stop offenses from getting into a 3rd Down where the options are plentiful. Unfortunately, this defense is too porous to limit those choices. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.65 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. This is also a team that is allowing running backs and quarterbacks to get to the second-level in an average fashion. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Disruptive plays are a part of the fabric of this team’s defensive effort. Game changing plays that drive Offensive Coordinators and Quarterbacks crazy, they find ways to deliver. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Alabama is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Alabama Team Offense Preview

Alabama has had 80 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.33 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Any defense is in for a challenge with Alabama, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Alabama passes the football 51.88% of the time.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.23 yards per carry. This offensive line may be underappreciated, even though the running backs get the attention. The Alabama coaching staff really deserves credit for how they prepared this offensive line, but they could be a little bit better! This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Alabama has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. Alabama is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. Alabama is a better passing team than running team this season.

LSU Team Defense Preview

LSU has had 87 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 4.6 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, LSU is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. LSU has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. LSU opponents pass the football 55.75% of the time.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

LSU opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? LSU can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.83 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average defense when it comes to how offensive lines control or fail to control them on the ground. This is also a team that is allowing running backs and quarterbacks to get to the second-level in an average fashion. They are capable of giving up a long run, which is really demoralizing when the opposing team has the ball deep in their own territory.

Disruptive plays are a part of the fabric of this team’s defensive effort. Game changing plays that drive Offensive Coordinators and Quarterbacks crazy, they find ways to deliver. Getting more specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!LSU is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

LSU Team Offense Preview

LSU has had 86 total drives this season and they generate 5.2 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, LSU is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. LSU is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Passing plays make up 58.61% of their play calls.This is an Air Raid Offense team, they are going to pass the ball a lot and running plays are only used to keep opponents honest.

LSU is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.86 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the LSU Offense. LSU is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. LSU has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Alabama Roster

The Players to Watch for Alabama

Mac Jones QB 6-2 214

This season, Mac Jones has put up 2728 yards and 23 touchdowns. He has thrown 3 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 208.0thus far this season. Mac Jones has thrown 3 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Mac Jones has -3.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 18.1 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 22.0 times this season, which puts him in the 61.11 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Najee Harris RB 6-2 230

This season, Najee Harris has 893 rushing yards on 148 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 17 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Najee Harris picked up 244 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 24 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Devonta Smith WR 6-1 175

This season, Devonta Smith picked up 1074 yards. He caught the ball 72 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 12 receiving touchdowns this season.

Phidarian Mathis DL 6-4 312

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Alabama, Phidarian Mathis has 24 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 83.63 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 1 times this season, which put him in the 68.5 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Jordan Battle DB 6-1 210.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Alabama, Jordan Battle had 45 tackles which puts him in the 94.18 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 73.47 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Jordan Battle as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 84.5 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

The LSU Roster

The Players to Watch for LSU

Myles Brennan QB 6-4 210

This season, Myles Brennan has put up 1112 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has thrown 3 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 154.7thus far this season. Myles Brennan has thrown 3 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Myles Brennan has -36.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 5.08 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 17.0 times this season, which puts him in the 53.02 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Tyrion Davis-Prince RB 6-1 232

This season, Tyrion Davis-Prince has 367 rushing yards on 88 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 3 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Tyrion Davis-Prince picked up 47 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 8 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Terrace Marshall Jr. WR 6-3 200

This season, Terrace Marshall Jr. picked up 731 yards. He caught the ball 48 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 10 receiving touchdowns this season.

Siaki Ika NT 6-4 340

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for LSU, Siaki Ika has 5 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 1 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 55.5 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 1 times this season, which put him in the 75.92 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Ali Gaye DL 6-6 262

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for LSU, Ali Gaye has 20 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 8 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 96.73 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 1 times this season, which put him in the 68.5 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

JaCoby Stevens S 6-2 230.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for LSU, JaCoby Stevens had 42 tackles which puts him in the 92.82 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 4 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 97.02 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 2 times this season. JaCoby Stevens as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 38.31 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Cordale Flott CB 6-1 165

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for LSU, Cordale Flott had 35 tackles which puts him in the 96.77 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 4 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 99.27 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Cordale Flott as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 37.54 percentile among Corners this season.

Alabama vs. LSU Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Alabama 48 LSU 23

Spread Pick: LSU +29.5 -105 5Dimes
Moneyline Pick: Alabama -2240 Heritage
Total Pick: Over 66.5 -110 Bookmaker