BATON ROUGE-For a brief moment it looked like LSU might tip its hand and have running back Spencer Ware warm up with the quarterbacks. The Tigers need a wrinkle, a different vibe to their offense. Ware as a Tiger Wildcat, a running quarterback, might stir it up.
Ware, however, went to the sideline with the backs and receivers. We’ll see what happens. Maybe he gets a chance to take some snaps and run behind an unbalanced line.
One way or another LSU has to uncover some offense in this game with Alabama. What have they been doing with their off week? Could there be an expanded passing game?
There better be. Alabama will smother these two-man routes that LSU has been running. Seven guys on two just doesn’t work.
The hysteria-filled atmosphere will work for LSU as long as it gets on top or makes some early plays. If Alabama wins the toss you should expect Nick Saban to take the ball and try and take this crowd down a notch.
This is a dream game for NFL scouts. I wrote about it in The New York Times today. If Alabama is labeled the 33rd NFL franchise, then LSU is 34th. They are big, fast teams. Saban’s favorite saying is, “Big people beat up little people.”
LSU should not expect any help tonight. Alabama does not turn the ball over. You know that. The Crimson Tide can run and they can pass with the most under-rated quarterback in college football, AJ McCarron.
One key to the game is what Barkevious Mingo, the LSU defensive end, can get done against Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker. Fluker is playing for his NFL draft life in this game. He has been knocked for being too slow out of his stance. He is a big guy. What can he do against an NFL-caliber end? I’m sure Bama will give him some help. We’ll see.
Prediction: Alabama 13, LSU 3.
(Ray Glier wrote the book: How The SEC Became Goliath (Howard/Simon & Schuster). Available on Amazon or www.rayglier.com or www.howthesecbecamegoliath.com