The stats aren’t eye-popping and there isn’t a highlight reel that would make Lamar Jackson bat an eye, but, it’s hard to put into words how valuable Joe Burrow has been for the LSU Tigers. If you haven’t noticed, having stability at the quarterback position has been foreign to the Bayou Bengals.
In the past four years, LSU has been searching for a signal-caller that can place them with the elite teams in college football. Not to slight Danny Etling, Brandon Harris, and Anthony Jennings, but to say that their quarterback play has been unreliable is an understatement – especially against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
In a four-year span against Bama, LSU quarterbacks completed 40 percent of their passes. In addition to that, no quarterback has thrown over 160 yards.
I’m not here to say that Joe Burrow is the second coming of Matt Mauck or Matt Flynn, but he can do something that the quarterbacks before him couldn’t do and that is to challenge Bama with his arm.
According to every college football sportsbook, the Alabama Crimson Tide are still favorites to win the SEC West, but that all can change Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. Here are five reasons why Joe Burrow and LSU can lead the Bayou Bengals to the promise land against their ultimate rival.
Big Games Are Nothing New to Burrow
Although he held the headset for most of his time at Ohio State, Burrow received mental reps in a lot of big games. More than any position, mental reps are huge for quarterbacks. From big clashes against Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Clemson, Burrow knows what to expect when the stakes are high. In his time at LSU, Burrow has shown he is able to make big plays and lead the team to victory against top-flight teams.
Alabama’s Defense Is Still Elite, but Not Scary
To no surprise, the Crimson Tide still has an embarrassment of riches on the defensive side of the ball, but they tend to sleepwalk at times. Yes, they are holding teams to 15.9 points per game, good for 10th best in the country, but this is the first time since 2008 that Bama’s defense has been outside of the top 5 in scoring defense.
Death Valley Will be Rocking
In a perfect world, Kevin Gates, Lil Boosie, Webbie, and NBA Youngboy would be seen walking Mike the Tiger into Tiger Stadium while serenading their bevy of hits, but sadly that’s not the case. Instead, a night game with over 100,000 fans will be screaming relentlessly hoping their team defeats Bama at home for the first time since 2010.
DB U Can Handle Bama’s Aerial Assault
To some, LSU is known as DB U. Over the years there has been a litany of top-tier players who spent their time playing for the Tigers. This season is no different as the secondary is led by super sophomores Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit. The star-laden secondary is one of few teams that can go toe-to-toe with Tua Tagovailoa and his stable of wide receivers.
LSU Finally Has a QB and his name is JEAUX BURREAXU
The narrative of recent LSU teams is that they have been held back by quarterback play. That narrative has been the case when playing against Alabama as well. During Alabama’s seven-game winning streak against LSU, they’ve had the luxury to play against subpar quarterbacks. Outside of Zach Mettenberger, LSU hasn’t been fortunate to have a quarterback that could propel them to victory. Burrow is still a game manager to a degree, but his penchant for making the big plays running or passing is what separates him from those before him. Saturday Night Burrow can become a folk hero in Baton Rouge, or he will be just another QB that can’t get over the hump against Nick Saban & Co.