After spending Week 10 of the 2013 college football season taking in the action from home, Alabama coach Nick Saban and his players shake off the rust and start to gear up for a visit from rival LSU.
During his Monday availability with the media, Saban lauded LSU, calling the Tigers, “one of the best programs in the country.”
He then heaped effusive praise on the offense run by first-year coordinator Cam Cameron and led by resurgent quarterback Zach Mettenberger. According to the Saban, LSU’s offense is, “the most explosive, the most talented offense we’ve faced all year long.”
While there is no doubt that the Tigers’ offense is humming, another one of Saban’s rivals, the Texas A&M Aggies, would probably disagree.
The Aggies have yet to score less than 41 points in a game all season, and average a healthy 49.0 per contest. In contrast, LSU was held to 17 points in a win over Florida and to 24 in a loss to Ole Miss. For comparison’s sake, Texas A&M put up 41 points on the Rebels.
Johnny Manziel is enjoying yet another Heisman-caliber season, having thrown for 2,867 yards, rushed for another 564 and accounted for 34 total touchdowns. He has also completed 72.5-percent of his passes.
Mettenberger, while improved, is still far off those numbers. In completing a lower mark of 65.4-percent of his passes, he has tallied 2,492 yards with 19 touchdowns. Mettenberger does boast one less interception on the year, with seven, compared to Manziel’s eight.
Against the Tide, Manziel put up season highs of 464 passing yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 98 more, giving him a mind-boggling 562 total yards for the game.
Outside of giving up 42 points to Texas A&M, Alabama has yet to surrender more than 10 to any other opponent.
In regards to running games, A&M has rushed for more yards (1,897 to 1,805) and tallied a healthier yards-per-carry average (5.4 to 5.2) than LSU on the season.
If LSU’s offense really is as fantastic as Saban says, Alabama’s defense could be in some trouble.
More than likely, however, Saban is just trying to prepare the Tide for a bout against a team that would love nothing more than to knock Alabama out of title game contention.