LSU plays what is expected to be its toughest game of the season this weekend against Alabama.
The Tigers’ Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa both present a different kind of threat, and a different level of experience heading into Saturday night.
Here’s how the two stack up.
First Impression: Still not entirely impressive based solely on the stats sheet, Joe Burrow has guided the LSU Tigers to a 7-1 overall record. He’s also quickly cementing his place as one of the most effective quarterbacks in school history.
He’s also been one of the most careful, as it took him 158 passes to throw the first interception of his career against Florida. But what’s more impressive is what he can accomplish on the ground, having rushed 67 times for 250 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Burrow is 120-of-223 passes for 1,544 yards this year with six touchdowns and three interceptions.
Last showing: vs. Mississippi St., W 19-3
Burrow was 16-of-28 passes for 129 yards and an interception in the home victory against the Bulldogs.
Bottom line for Saturday: This weekend’s game is by far the toughest contest Burrow has faced in his career. Overall, Burrow has proven to be a smart decision-maker, and has shown ability to make plays on his own. The signal-caller is going to have to keep true to both of these things, and deliver some aggressive deep shots to consistently put points on the board for the offense.
First Impression: As Ed Orgeron has admitted, Tua Tagovailoa is one of the best players in college football. Standing at 6-foot-1, it’s not a matter of height. It’s not a matter of having the arm talent of a Drew Lock or the athleticism of a Lamar Jackson. In the words of Nick Saban, it’s Tagovailoa’s instinctiveness that sets him apart.
And it’s obvious that the Alabama QB is making all the right moves.
Still just a sophomore, Tagovailoa is 107-of-152 passes for 2,066 yards, with 25 touchdowns and zero interceptions this year.
Last showing: vs. Tennessee, W 58-21
Tagovailoa was 19-of-29 passes for 306 yards, with four touchdowns on the road against the Vols.
Bottom line for Saturday: Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide are poised for another huge game on Saturday. LSU’s defense is going to have to give the best performance it has shown all year to fulfill the tall task of keeping Tagovailoa at bay. Safety Grant Delpit noted earlier this week that the RPO offense Alabama presents is the hardest he and the defense will have to defend.