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LSU-Alabama Preview

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(Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Associated Press (AP)- No. 10 LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) at No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0), 8 p.m. (CBS)

Line: Alabama by 12.

Series record: Alabama leads 47-25-5.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Alabama can remain on track for a shot at a third consecutive national title with a win. The Crimson Tide’s only remaining significant challenges after this would be at No. 7 Auburn and possibly the SEC championship game. LSU can remain in the hunt for a BCS bowl if the Tigers pull off the upset.

KEY MATCHUP

LSU’s receivers versus Alabama’s secondary. The Tigers have two of the SEC’s biggest receiving threats in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, who have combined for 1,891 yards and 16 touchdowns. Beckham is second nationally in all-purpose yards with 207.3 per game. The Tide has struggled to settle on a cornerback opposite Deion Belue and has been burned a few times this season — most notably against Texas A&M. Four corners have had starting turns at the position, with the latest being converted wide receiver Cyrus Jones against Tennessee.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LSU: QB Zach Mettenberger is second in the SEC in passing yards and touchdowns, behind only Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. But five of the seven interceptions he has thrown this season have come in the past two games.

Alabama: RBs T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake are the Nos. 4 and 5 rushers, respectively, in conference games, averaging a combined 200 yards against SEC opponents with 14 touchdowns. LSU is eighth in the league in run defense and third in pass defense.

FACTS & FIGURES

LSU is 2-10-1 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 and 0-3 against Alabama when the Tide tops the polls. Alabama is 25-7 against Top 25 teams and 15-4 against opponents ranked in the Top 10 over the past six seasons. … The Tigers have won five of the last six meetings in Tuscaloosa. They also have beaten Alabama three times since Saban’s arrival in 2007, more than any other team. Only Auburn (twice) has topped the Tide more than once in that span. … The two teams are separated by a combined 12 points over the last nine games, with Alabama having a 191-179 edge. That gap is courtesy of a 21-0 win over LSU in the BCS championship game in January 2012. … Mettenberger is just eight yards shy of becoming the first LSU quarterback to pass for 2,500-plus yards in consecutive seasons.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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