With eight games under his belt — all resulting in wins — Alabama true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts has emerged as one of the nation’s best at his position.

Hurts has completed 63.2 percent of his pass attempts for 1,578 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions, adding 521 yards and nine more scores as an explosive runner in both designed and broken plays. He’s been widely tabbed as the top Offensive Freshman of the Year candidate and is on path to lead the Crimson Tide to their third straight College Football Playoff appearance.

So it should come to no surprise when LSU defensive back Dwayne Thomas said hitting Hurts early and often will be a focal point for the Tigers’ defense when they host No. 1 Alabama in Death Valley in Week 10 following the bye week.

“After hitting him a couple times, most quarterbacks don’t like to get hit,” Thomas said, according to ESPN. “They start making mistakes after that, and then with the tight coverage that we’re going to have on the back end, he’s not going to want to go to some of his favorite targets.”

LSU ranks No. 3 in the SEC with 20 sacks, No. 6 in opposing QB passer efficiency (111.87) and has allowed a conference-best four touchdowns through the air in 2016.

“…That’s all we have to do,” Thomas added. “I really see us dominating this offense. I really see us dominating this team.”

Alabama has won the last five meetings of this series, but the past two in Baton Rouge have been painfully close. Nick Saban’s squad won the 2012 matchup in the final minute and needed to overtime to escape Louisiana with a win in 2014.

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