It’s an exciting time to be an LSU fan. For the fifth time in school history, the football team is 8-0 to start the season. The Tigers have not had such a record since 2011, which is also the last time they defeated Alabama. LSU has lost its last eight meetings to Alabama, but the team is only looking ahead to this year’s matchup.
“What happened in the past has nothing to do with this,” said LSU coach Ed Orgeron. “This is a new game, a new week, a new football team. Are they as dominant as they have been in the past? We’re going to find out.”
Although the 2011 and 2019 teams are vastly different in terms of rosters, coaching and play style, the circumstances of these games are identical. The 2011 matchup featured No. 1 LSU traveling to Tuscaloosa to take on No. 2 Alabama. This year is no different, as it will determine who the best team in the nation is truly — if Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa plays, that is.
Tagovailoa, a Heisman Trophy candidate, is coming off of a high ankle sprain suffered during Alabama's win over Tennessee on Oct. 19. He has practiced three times since the injury on a limited basis, and Alabama coach Nick Saban says he will be a game-time decision for Saturday’s game at LSU.
The Tigers have had two weeks of preparation for Alabama following their bye. While Saban insists Tua’s status is uncertain, LSU is prepared for him to suit up this Saturday. Should Tagovailoa play, a win would unquestionably make LSU the best team in the nation, likely netting them the top spot in the College Football Playoff.
With or without Tagovailoa, Alabama is still the No. 2 team in the country and should be treated as such. While the Tigers have been looking forward to it, Orgeron downplayed the matchup despite what’s at stake in their most important game of the season.
“We’re not going to treat this game different than any other game,” Orgeron said. “This is the next game in our schedule. There will be bigger games down the road for us. We have respect for Alabama. We understand what they do well. We understand what we do well. It’s going to be a great game.”