8 years later, it's No. 1 LSU versus No. 2 Alabama again

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama and LSU are ready for another 1 versus 2 November get-together.

It took eight years, seismic offensive shifts and two Heisman Trophy-contending quarterbacks, but they're back for another massive meeting between the nation's two top-ranked teams in the AP poll.

No. 1 LSU (8-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference, No. 2 CFP) meets No. 2 Alabama (8-0, 5-0, No. 3 CFP) Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium, just like the so-called Game of the Century in 2011. Well, not just like it since those comparatively plodding offenses never reached the end zone and now the Tigers and Crimson Tide have two of the nation's best .

Even President Donald Trump is expected to attend.

''It's very exciting, 1 vs. 2, it's the best of the best,'' Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy said. ''Everybody wants to play their best game because it's 1 vs. 2. You want to go out there and show that you're the best. So there's a lot of excitement, a lot of anxiety, just ready to go out and play.''

The big question leading up to the game is the status of Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and his surgically repaired right ankle. Coach Nick Saban has said that will be ''a game-time decision,'' but Tagovailoa has been practicing and 'Bama remains a 5-1/2-point favorite.

If he's healthy, it has the makings of an epic quarterback showdown: Tagovailoa and LSU's Joe Burrow rank among the top three nationally in completion percentage and passing efficiency. Burrow is second in passing yards per game and Tagovailoa is seventh.

The offenses bear scant resemblance to those in the 2011 field goal festival, won 9-6 by LSU in overtime. Alabama won the rematch 21-0 in the national championship game and hasn't lost to its SEC West rival since then - an eight-game win streak.

Both teams again have their sights set on SEC championships and playoff berths. LSU has polished its resume with three wins over Top 10 teams, and perhaps could overcome a loss in Tuscaloosa or the SEC championship game. Alabama hasn't faced anybody currently ranked, and might not have that luxury.

''We went on the road and (played) a really good Texas team, played Florida, Auburn,'' Burrow said. ''So we've been challenged, and I think that's going to help us a lot this week, facing the adversity we've had this year ... We have a really mature team.''

Some other things to know heading into the LSU-Alabama showdown:


Saban has been cautious, or maybe just coy, in public comments about Tagovailoa's status. The 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up has missed the past six-plus quarters since getting injured against Tennessee and had a surgical procedure on his right ankle.

Mac Jones took his place.

''Tua's worked hard to try to get back where he has an opportunity to play,'' Saban said Wednesday night. ''He's been able to practice some. We still don't know what his status for the game is going to be. We'll make it when the game comes. We don't know what kind of setbacks he's going to have and how he's going to continue to progress. So, there's nothing else I can really say about it.''


''This is the best football team we've had going into this game.''- LSU's Ed Orgeron.

LSU is ''extremely explosive on offense, still play really good on defense. It's going to come down to the same old things - playing with discipline, blocking, tackling, basic fundamentals, not turning the ball over, explosive plays and people have to maintain their poise so they can do that for 60 minutes in the game.'' - Alabama's Nick Saban.


LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton doesn't buy into talk that this will be a shootout.

''I mean, that's crazy, because I think we've both got pretty good defenses,'' Fulton said. ''I know it won't be that high for sure, but I'm not really looking into the media about that.''


President Trump is visiting his third sporting event in recent weeks, having attended Game 5 of the World Series and an Ultimate Fighting Championship match in New York City's Madison Square Garden. The president's decision to attend Alabama-LSU, Tide receiver Henry Ruggs III said ''shows the magnitude of the type of game that this could be.''

Added Burrow: ''Regardless of your political views, that's pretty cool, having the president at the game.''


Alabama's Najee Harris and LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire are still threats, even if they've been overshadowed by the quarterbacks and wide receivers. Edwards-Heilaire has run for 683 yards and eight touchdowns while Harris has gained 642 yards with five scores. Both are also receiving threats out of the backfield.


AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana contributed to this report.


More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25


More Related News

The Surprisingly Limited Success of Trump
The Surprisingly Limited Success of Trump's Signature Anti-Poverty Program

Cleveland's experience shows why "opportunity zones" help middle-income neighborhoods more than poor ones.

Stock markets struggle as Biden-Trump debate moves into focus
Stock markets struggle as Biden-Trump debate moves into focus

Equity markets mostly fell Tuesday as investors struggled to extend a global rally as they weighed a fresh US stimulus proposal from the Democrats while looking ahead to the first presidential debate later in the day.

Mock debates? Briefing books? How Trump and Biden are preparing for their first debate in Cleveland
Mock debates? Briefing books? How Trump and Biden are preparing for their first debate in Cleveland

Donald Trump and Joe Biden are taking vastly different approaches in preparing for the first debate of the presidential election.

AP Interview: US ambassador defends tough approach to China
AP Interview: US ambassador defends tough approach to China

The departing U.S. ambassador on Tuesday defended a tough approach to China that has riled relations between the world's two largest economies, saying the Trump administration has made progress on trade and that he hopes it will extend to other areas. Terry Branstad, the longtime Iowa governor who was chosen by President Donald Trump to be envoy to China, said the Trump administration is seeking the same treatment for American companies and individuals in China that their Chinese counterparts get in America. Branstad is returning to Iowa this weekend after three years and three months as ambassador in Beijing, the longest he and his wife have lived outside of his home state.

NY Times: Trump paid $750 in US income taxes in 2016, 2017
NY Times: Trump paid $750 in US income taxes in 2016, 2017

President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he ran for president and in his first year in the White House, according to a report Sunday in The New York Times. Trump, who has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public, paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years. The details of the tax filings complicate Trump's description of himself as a shrewd and patriotic businessman, revealing instead a series of financial losses and income from abroad that could come into conflict with his responsibilities as president.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Football