No. 1 LSU visits No. 2 Alabama in SEC West/playoff showdown

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              Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) walks off the field having missed the game due to an earlier injury after an NCAA college football game against Arkansas, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
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No. 1 LSU (8-0, 4-0 SEC, No. 2 CFP) at No. 2 Alabama (8-0, 5-0, No. 3), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EDT (CBS).

Line: Alabama by 5 1/2.

Series record: Alabama leads 53-25-5.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

SEC West supremacy. Playoff standing. The Tigers, trying to snap an eight-game skid against the Crimson Tide, have already beaten three Top 10 teams. That resume means a loss wouldn’t necessarily derail their playoff hopes. Alabama doesn’t have that margin for error since Nick Saban’s team hasn’t faced a team that’s currently ranked.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama’s young defense against QB Joe Burrow and LSU’s offense. The Tide still has the league’s No. 2 scoring defense despite a heavier-than-usual reliance on freshmen but it hasn’t faced an offense like LSU’s. The Tigers are averaging 377.6 passing yards, easily a league high. Alabama has standout cornerbacks in Trevon Diggs and Patrick Surtain Jr., along with safety Xavier McKinney.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LSU: Burrow’s 2,805 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes both rank second nationally and his arsenal includes the league’s co-leader in catches per game (Justin Jefferson) and leader in yards per game (Ja’Marr Chase).

Alabama: Tagovailoa is described as “a game-time decision” with a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for the Arkansas game. Though backup Mac Jones was solid in his absence, Alabama could have a hard time keeping up with Burrow & Co. without a healthy Tagovailoa.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is the 13th consecutive meeting where both teams come in ranked, including seven Top 10 clashes. … The Tigers have won seven of their last eight games against Top 10 teams, with the only loss coming 29-0 against Alabama last season. … LSU coach Ed Orgeron is 0-6 against the Tide, with three losses at LSU and three at Mississippi. … Alabama has won 31 straight games at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The last loss came to Mississippi in 2015. … Saban’s 24 wins over Top 5 teams is the most of any college football coach. He is 24-13, a .649 winning percentage. … LSU is off to its first 8-0 start since 2011 and fifth overall. The others came in 1908, 1958, 1973, and 2011.