Alabama should finally get a test when the top-ranked Crimson Tide visit Death Valley on Saturday night to face No. 5 LSU in a rematch of last season’s BCS National Championship Game. The undefeated Tide have won every game by at least 19 points and just demolished a very good Mississippi State team. Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense (8.1), while LSU ranks ninth (14.6). The fifth-ranked Tigers had a week off to prepare following wins over ranked foes South Carolina and Texas A&M. Alabama has won three of the past five meetings with LSU, including the 21-0 shutout in the title game, and leads the all-time series 46-25-5.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Alabama -9.5
ABOUT ALABAMA (8-0, 3-0 SEC): Running behind the nation’s top offensive line, T.J. Yeldon (649 yards, 7.0 yards per carry, seven touchdowns) and Eddie Lacy (596 yards, 5.5, seven) have battered opponents into submission. Quarterback AJ McCarron has thrown 18 touchdown passes without an interception, with freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper (32 catches, 472 yards, five touchdowns) emerging as a major threat. The defense has allowed opponents to enter the red zone only 15 times in eight games. Only one of Alabama’s last 22 opponents has gained 300 total yards.
ABOUT LSU (7-1, 3-1): Freshman running back Jeremy Hill stole the show in LSU’s wins over the Aggies and Gamecocks, running for 251 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries. He is part of a dynamic backfield that includes Kenny Hilliard (420 rushing yards, six touchdowns) and Michael Ford (357, three). But the Tigers rank 90th nationally in pass efficiency as quarterback Zach Mettenberger is hitting 56.6 percent of his throws with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Defensive end Sam Montgomery (nine tackles for loss, four sacks) leads a fierce front seven, while linebacker Kevin Minter has 75 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.
1. Dating to last season, McCarron has thrown 262 straight passes without an interception, an Alabama record and the second-longest streak in SEC history.
2. Alabama is 34-for-35 in the red zone - 26 touchdowns and eight field goals.
3. Under Les Miles, LSU is 5-1 following a scheduled open date and 36-1 in Saturday night home games. The Tigers have won a school-record 22 straight in Death Valley.
PREDICTION: Alabama 27, LSU 20