Hot Reads: LSU needs to rely on run against Alabama - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Hot Reads: 3 things to count on - death, disease, football

Zach Mettenberger has been the engine in LSU's offense this season, but he has sputtered recently. (Source: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics) Zach Mettenberger has been the engine in LSU's offense this season, but he has sputtered recently. (Source: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
Christion Jones and the Crimson Tide shouldn't expect to run away from the Tigers, but that doesn't mean they won't. (Source: Alabama Athletic Communications) Christion Jones and the Crimson Tide shouldn't expect to run away from the Tigers, but that doesn't mean they won't. (Source: Alabama Athletic Communications)
  • AlabamaMore>>

  • Alabama finalizes 2018 football schedule

    Alabama finalizes 2018 football schedule

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 4:49 PM EDT2017-09-19 20:49:44 GMT
    Source: WBRCSource: WBRC

    Officials at the University of Alabama finalized the 2018 football schedule on Tuesday. As usual, there are seven home games scheduled for Bryant-Denny Stadium with one neutral site game and four SEC road games.

    Officials at the University of Alabama finalized the 2018 football schedule on Tuesday. As usual, there are seven home games scheduled for Bryant-Denny Stadium with one neutral site game and four SEC road games.

  • Bama prepares for an unbeaten Vandy

    Bama prepares for an unbeaten Vandy

    Monday, September 18 2017 5:30 PM EDT2017-09-18 21:30:30 GMT
    Source: WBRCSource: WBRC

    It's a surprising match-up Saturday in Nashville with a battle of unbeaten teams between Alabama and Vanderbilt.

    It's a surprising match-up Saturday in Nashville with a battle of unbeaten teams between Alabama and Vanderbilt.

  • Sports

    No. 1 Alabama overpowers Colorado State

    No. 1 Alabama overpowers Colorado State

    Saturday, September 16 2017 10:17 PM EDT2017-09-17 02:17:56 GMT

    The Crimson Tide made the most of their final non-conference game before starting their SEC schedule.

    The Crimson Tide made the most of their final non-conference game before starting their SEC schedule.

  • LSUMore>>

  • LSU football enjoys team outing at original T.J. Ribs restaurant

    LSU football enjoys team outing at original T.J. Ribs restaurant

    Tuesday, August 11 2015 9:37 PM EDT2015-08-12 01:37:12 GMT
    Tuesday, August 11 2015 10:06 PM EDT2015-08-12 02:06:19 GMT
    The LSU football team took a break from the sweaty grind of fall camp Tuesday night to enjoy some team bonding and great food.
    The LSU football team took a break from the sweaty grind of fall camp Tuesday night to enjoy some team bonding and great food.
  • LSU football wants return to 2011 defense

    LSU football wants return to 2011 defense

    Thursday, August 6 2015 3:15 PM EDT2015-08-06 19:15:51 GMT
    Thursday, August 6 2015 3:36 PM EDT2015-08-06 19:36:51 GMT
    LSU may have ranked No. 1 in the SEC defensively last season, but many fans and analysts agree that wasn’t an accurate reflection of how the team actually played. 
    LSU may have ranked No. 1 in the SEC defensively last season, but many fans and analysts agree that wasn’t an accurate reflection of how the team actually played. 
  • LSU football reports for fall camp, Miles says Bain was never reinstated

    LSU football reports for fall camp, Miles says Bain was never reinstated

    Wednesday, August 5 2015 12:06 PM EDT2015-08-05 16:06:42 GMT
    Wednesday, August 5 2015 4:52 PM EDT2015-08-05 20:52:04 GMT
    On a steamy and sweltering morning in south Louisiana, the LSU football team officially reported for the start of fall camp. The Tigers checking into the West Campus Apartments Wednesday morning, with their first practice set for Thursday. 
    On a steamy and sweltering morning in south Louisiana, the LSU football team officially reported for the start of fall camp. The Tigers checking into the West Campus Apartments Wednesday morning, with their first practice set for Thursday. 
  • Texas A&MMore>>

  • Week 2 Preview: Playoff implications & Heisman bounce back

    Week 2 Preview: Playoff implications & Heisman bounce back

    Friday, September 8 2017 3:26 AM EDT2017-09-08 07:26:41 GMT
    Friday, September 8 2017 11:39 AM EDT2017-09-08 15:39:07 GMT
    Hurricane Irma has shut down the top teams from the Sunshine State, but college football will be played around much of the country Saturday.
    Hurricane Irma has shut down the top teams from the Sunshine State, but college football will be played around much of the country Saturday.

(RNN) - Hot Reads has learned that there is something relatively important going on in Tuscaloosa, AL, on Saturday night. Has anyone else heard about this?

(Intern whispering in my ear) It has recently come to my attention that the football teams for Alabama and LSU will try to clear up an epileptic rash. Don't know what that is, but it sounds serious and I'm betting it will take longer than one day to clear up.

(Intern again) Oh, he said "epic clash." That makes more sense. It's important to enunciate, folks - even when you're speaking in a low tone so that only one person will hear you.

Moving on, with all due respect to the brilliance of What We Learned, there are a few things from this past weekend we can add to our knowledge base. As an aside, you can hear the writers of both these columns debate deep, life-altering issues by clicking here.

1. Johnny Football is getting old - At least in superhuman, Heisman-winning, freak of nature, Twitter legend terms. What's with him scrambling and throwing the ball away against UTEP instead of scrambling and turning the defense into shredded cheese with a 15-yard run that takes three minutes to finish?

He was actually sacked on two consecutive plays, and fumbled the second one. Gasp! That beating he took against Auburn could still be with him, or teams could be getting smarter about defending him. Either way, it has to make you more hopeful Missouri's James Franklin is ready to go for a showdown in the regular season finale.

2. Tyler Murphy has no help - It's sad because the talent is there. Dropped passes, a running game that's in the toilet and ridiculous mental mistakes have deprived us of enjoying one of the good young quarterbacks in this league.

It's hard to notice when Florida makes big plays because a lot of the positive things they do get wiped out by their conference-leading 62 penalty yards per game. Ouch!

If the Gators were taking care of business like they're capable of doing there would have been no need to score 17 consecutive points just for the honor of losing a close game to Georgia.

SEC vs. SEC

LSU at Alabama, 8 p.m. ET Saturday

Nothing that happens in this game should surprise you - no matter who wins, no matter what the score is, no matter if aliens destroy Bryant-Denny Stadium and abduct the cheerleaders as their trophies.

Something is not quite right with the Tigers, but it's hard to put a finger on. They look good on film, they're on pace to break a school record for points and they have everything they need to win this game. So what's up?

Maybe it's this:  They're near the bottom of the NFL Lite in turnover margin, penalties and red zone defense.

Or it could be this: LSU is 1-4 against opponents ranked No. 1 under Les Miles. However, he does have three wins against Alabama teams coached by Nick Saban, more than any other coach in the country.

More than likely, though, it's this: Zach Mettenberger's season is a total 180 from a year ago. In 2013 the perception was the Tigers were winning games in spite of him, not because of him. Then he came within a first down of beating Alabama, and he looked like a guy any team that didn't have a QB named Manziel, Murray or McCarron wanted.

This year he started off playing like everybody's All-American, but a tough loss to Georgia, three picks in a loss to Ole Miss and a pick-6 in a sluggish first half against Furman changed that.

Riddle me this: how is a football team with all that depth at running back and an offensive line that good not leading the league in rushing and only holding onto the ball less than 29 minutes per game?

I understand Mettenberger can do a lot of great things for a team, but more good things can happen running the ball than throwing it.

If LSU wants to beat Alabama, it has to give them a heavy dose of the ground game. And yes, Hot Reads is aware the Crimson Tide has the No. 7 rushing defense in the country. But this game will be a heavyweight fight, and you don't jab to knock people out. You do it to soften them up.

It's not that LSU's offense relies heavily on passing - the team has run the ball 114 more times than it has thrown. It's just that they take a lot of long shots down the field. Mettenberger has led the SEC in passing yards per attempt pretty much the whole season.

Can't do that on Saturday.

Alabama already has enough advantages - home field, Nick Saban, a "game manager" quarterback who happens to win a lot of games and motivation to play well enough that the aliens will want to watch the game instead of interrupting it.

If the Tigers try to hit home runs against a defense this good, they are certain to lose. But Les Miles probably won't listen to this, just like he didn't listen to Hot Reads' earlier advice to stop coloring his hair.

But whatevs. To each his own and what not.

There's life outside the SEC?

Oklahoma at Baylor, 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday

Thankfully, Oregon and Stanford don't kick off until 90 minutes later. That gives you some time to peruse this futuristic look at college football, foreshadowing when teams will be able to score about 100 points and give up only 10.

Oklahoma would seemingly put the jewel in its Big 12 crown with a win over Baylor, but let's look at this game in perspective.

Sure, the Bears score close to 64 points per game, and they are 11th in the country in yards allowed and sixth in points allowed. That's because their toughest competition has been West Virginia (4-5), Louisiana-Monroe (5-4) and Central Texas Women's College (NRA).

Just saying. The Sooners present unquestionably what is the toughest test the Bears have faced all season.

Sooners was a nickname for people who settled the western territories of America. Didn't cowboys live in the Old West? Don't cowboys hunt and kill bears?

I guarantee Oklahoma has a couple of silver bullets with Baylor's name on them.

Stat of the Week:

316: Florida has gone longer than any other SEC team without getting shut out. The Gators' streak is also the second longest in the nation behind Michigan, which has scored in 357 consecutive games.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Pulse Poll

  • Who will pull off an upset this week?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    LSU (at Alabama)
    28%
    32 votes
    Vanderbilt (at Florida)
    24%
    28 votes
    Arkansas (at Ole Miss)
    10%
    12 votes
    Stanford (vs. Oregon)
    28%
    32 votes
    Oklahoma (at Baylor)
    10%
    12 votes
  • SEC FootballSEC CoverageMore>>

  • Missed Inside the 10 this week? Rick Sanford, USC beat writer David Cloninger talk USC moving forward after UK loss

    Missed Inside the 10 this week? Rick Sanford, USC beat writer David Cloninger talk USC moving forward after UK loss

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 10:30 PM EDT2017-09-21 02:30:54 GMT

    WIS is launching a new sports talk show on Facebook Live! Every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Rick Henry, Emery Glover and their special guests will get together at 1801 Grille in downtown Columbia for thirty minutes of spirited college football talk on Facebook Live. 

    WIS is launching a new sports talk show on Facebook Live! Every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Rick Henry, Emery Glover and their special guests will get together at 1801 Grille in downtown Columbia for thirty minutes of spirited college football talk on Facebook Live. 

  • Mississippi State trio earns SEC weekly honors

    Mississippi State trio earns SEC weekly honors

    Monday, September 18 2017 12:25 PM EDT2017-09-18 16:25:48 GMT
    WLBTWLBT

    Junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald earned Offensive Player of the Week, sophomore Darryl Williams picked up Offensive Lineman of the Week and sophomore Jeffery Simmons was named Defensive Lineman of the Week after leading MSU to a 37-30 victory over #11 LSU.

    Junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald earned Offensive Player of the Week, sophomore Darryl Williams picked up Offensive Lineman of the Week and sophomore Jeffery Simmons was named Defensive Lineman of the Week after leading MSU to a 37-30 victory over #11 LSU.

  • Fitzgerald has 4 TDs as MSU routs #11 LSU 37-7

    Fitzgerald has 4 TDs as MSU routs #11 LSU 37-7

    Sunday, September 17 2017 12:10 PM EDT2017-09-17 16:10:29 GMT

    Mississippi State beats LSU 37-7.  Click on the video above for highlights.  Copyright 2017 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

    Mississippi State beats LSU 37-7.  Click on the video above for highlights.  Copyright 2017 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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