Entering what may be the biggest game of the college football regular season, Nick Saban maintains that Alabama starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is day-to-day. Since his injury, however, everything has pointed to the LSU game as the likely spot for his return.
Tagovailoa left Alabama’s 35-13 win over Alabama with a high ankle sprain. That is never a good thing, though the timing certainly could have been worse.
Mac Jones was able to lead Alabama to an easy 48-7 win over lowly Arkansas. The Crimson Tide were off last weekend, giving Tagovailoa ample time to recover ahead of this No. 2 vs. No. 3 showdown with the Tigers.
While Saban hasn’t tipped his hand yet, few are buying it. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit believes that barring a setback, Tua will be back and look like his normal, Heisman-caliber self.
ESPN’s @KirkHerbstreit on #Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa’s still-recovering right ankle: “I think he’s going to be fine. I’ve talked to people down there and unless there’s some kind of setback within the game, I expect him to be very capable of being the Tua we expect.”
— Alex Byington (@_AlexByington) November 6, 2019
Outside of LSU fans hoping for an easier path to the SEC West title, I imagine most want to see both of these teams as close to full strength as possible.
The winner of Alabama vs. LSU becomes the heavy favorite to win the division and play for a conference title in Atlanta, likely against last week’s SEC East showdown winner Georgia.
The game also pits two leading Heisman contenders against one another: last year’s runner up, Tua Tagovailoa, and LSU’s breakout gunslinger Joe Burrow. After years of domination by the Crimson Tide, this feels like LSU’s best chance in a long time of beating Alabama, something it hasn’t done since 2011.
And, of course, the winner of this game immediately becomes the favorite in the SEC to reach the College Football Playoff, and may very well overtake Ohio State as the No. 1 team in the country next week.