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Deke Bellavia

Join Deke and the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert for live, local talk about the Saints, LSU, Pelicans and much more on "Sports Talk!" 

Weekdays 4-8pm

Twitter: @dekebigchief
Email: bigchief@wwl.com

Deke Bellavia: LSU/Alabama - Big plays vs Big Mistakes!

Yes, we all know everybody's breaking down this big game between LSU and Alabama.  Everywhere you look, listen, read or watch...someone, somewhere is telling you what's going to happen Saturday night, when the Tigers and the Tide get it on.

I, on the other hand, try to take a simple, common sense approach.  Sure, I could sit here and tell you who I think is going to have to make a big play....which team has the edge...who's QB will make the clutch throw, etc...

Ultimately, big plays will happen.  But, whoever avoids making the big mistake may come out on top!  For example, Tide QB A.J. McCarron threw three interceptions this season.  Tigers QB Zach Mettenberger threw four picks in the last two games, including one for a TD against Furman.

A big run in a game like this can easily be negated by a big fumble, turnover or penalty.  LSU averages 6.3 penalties per game and 51.3 penalty yards.  Alabama is flagged five times per contest and 41.7 yards.

And then, of course, there is the ever so talked about and utterly important turnover battle.  LSU fumbled the ball away seven times, and the Tigers were intercepted seven times for a grand total of 14 turnovers.

The Tide protected the ball much better.  Alabama fumbled the ball away four times, and QB A.J. McCarron threw three interceptions for a total of seven turnovers.

The little things add up in good ways and bad.  When breaking down teams statistically, you really don't get a good feel for what really happened in a season.

For example, Alabama allows their opponents on average a little over 8 points per game.  But, in their last six games, Bama foes averaged no more than 4.3 points per game.
And, check this one out...regardless of what you may or may not think of Alabama's schedule, the Tide have been all business no matter who they played!  Alabama allowed opponents to score 24 points on them in the first half of all eight games.  All 24 of those points were in the first two games, when Virginia Tech got 10 points and Texas A&M scored 14. 

No team has scored on Alabama in the first half of their last six games.  Alabama's strongest quarter is the second quarter, where they outscored their foes 120-3.

On the flip side, the Tigers best stanza is the first quarter.  LSU out scored their foes 103-42 in the first quarter of games this season.  Now, many of you may dismiss some of these numbers.  But, when I do my Purple & Gold Point After show in the wee hours Sunday morning, I can almost guarantee you these very same numbers will impact this game in some way, shape or form. 

As much as people need to make big plays...the safe plays, that don't yield a flag at a crucial time or a turnover, could very well be the difference in a game like this.  It most certainly has in the past.  I'll tweet my thoughts and notes this week and during the game @dekebigchief.

And, folks, please don't forget that the college football Top 10 will be shaken up this week with the two biggies Thursday night when Oregon hosts Stanford, while the Baylor Bears entertain Oklahoma.  And, of course, our big game Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.  LSU at Alabama; Les Miles versus Nick Saban...it's going to be fun! 

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : AlabamaOklahomaOregon
People : Les MilesNick Saban

11/07/2013 7:12AM
Deke Bellavia: LSU/Alabama - Big plays vs Big Mistakes!
Please Enter Your Comments Below
11/08/2013 11:42AM
Tigers done
11/08/2013 4:56PM
The after show comments.
Deke will open up the aftershow something like this " well folks, we all watched the game as painful as it was, so what happened? Is Saban that good, or has Miles lost the edge? lets vent and get it out. you know the number"
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