After a week off due to the bye week, Stat Watch is back. It was a successful week two weeks ago, as the stats successfully highlighted that LSU had a solid chance of stopping Ole Miss’ prolific offense — which they did — and should be able to move the ball on a bad Rebels defense — which it did.
Now we shift focus to a team who will make those two things quite a bit harder for LSU. That being Alabama.
A note on these stats: The offensive and defensive S&P+ marks are calculated as adjusted scoring averages and for the situational ratings, above 100 is good and below 100 is bad. Links to an explanation on the various stats here, here and here:
- S&P+ Percentile: 99.4% (T1 in FBS)
- Offensive S&P+: 35.8 (19th in FBS)
- Offensive Rushing S&P+: 110.3 (45th in FBS)
- Offensive Passing S&P+: 134.0 (3rd in FBS)
- Defensive S&P+: 13.2 (1st in FBS)
- Defensive Rushing S&P+: 163.2 (3rd in FBS)
- Defensive Passing S&P+: 131.6 (6th in FBS)
- FEI: .210 (13th in FBS)
- F/+: 51.7% (4th in FBS)
Alabama has an intriguing statistical profile so far this year. They rank in a tie for first in S&P+ Percentile with Ohio State. Their offense is in the Top 20, but does not run it at a particularly great clip. However they’re very efficient at passing the ball off of it, despite Jalen Hurts’ troubles with downfield passing, that they rank 3rd in Passing S&P+. The defense is what it always is, the top unit in America. But FEI has some reservations, which mostly can be put down to the fact that Alabama just hasn’t played many good teams — they haven’t played a single team in the FEI Top 60 up to this point. In some ways, that’s what this game will come down too.
LSU is getting healthy and better on the defensive line and maybe could hold the Bama rushing game to the point they force the game to become Bama’s WR’s vs LSU’s DB’s, a match-up I think LSU would win. But that'll be tough. And while the defensive line for the Tide may not be the all-fearing unit it once was, LSU still has a inexperienced offensive line. So it really could be down to how does Alabama fare finally facing a team that’s going to push back and can match-up in some ways talent-wise? Because on paper, this seems like a really, really tough match-up for the Tigers.