Penalties, red zone defense a concern for LSU playing Alabama - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Penalties a concern for No. 5 LSU entering revenge game against No. 1 Alabama

Posted: Updated:
A referee throws a flag, one of nine, against LSU in their game against Auburn on September 22, 2012. (abc3340.com) A referee throws a flag, one of nine, against LSU in their game against Auburn on September 22, 2012. (abc3340.com)
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger shrugs after his team was called for a penalty against Auburn. (abc3340.com) LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger shrugs after his team was called for a penalty against Auburn. (abc3340.com)
Les Miles has seen this happen way too often in 2012. (abc3340.com) Les Miles has seen this happen way too often in 2012. (abc3340.com)
  • Related LinksMore>>

  • LSU fans tape a tiger tail to Nick Saban's statue

    LSU fans tape a tiger tail to Nick Saban's statue

    Wednesday, October 31 2012 8:24 PM EDT2012-11-01 00:24:38 GMT
    Just one week removed from a Mississippi State fan sticking a "We Believe 8-0" flyer to Nick Saban's statue in Tuscaloosa, another misguided fan has stuck something else on the bronze replica of the AlabamaMore >>
    Just one week removed from a Mississippi State fan sticking a "We Believe 8-0" flyer to Nick Saban's statue in Tuscaloosa, another misguided fan has stuck something else on the bronze replica of the Alabama head football coach.More >>

Ask any college football coach what infuriates them the most before, during and after games they have won or lost, and you're likely to hear the same answer from all of them.

Penalties.

Those little yellow hankies that land harmlessly on the ground before, during and after a play in a football game can wreak havoc on a coach's mental stability, with some guys losing it altogether.

Entering Saturday's primetime matchup with No. 1 Alabama, only two teams in the country -- Florida International and Southern California -- have more penalties in 2012 than Les Miles' 5th-ranked LSU Tigers.  And if not for Miles having already been born wacky by nature, his team this year -- with their 68 penalties in eight games -- would have had him wolfing down Death Valley's turf a long time ago.

The Tigers are ranked 117th in the nation in penalties, averaging a dreadful 8.5 per game, causing LSU fans -- notorious for their alcohol-induced manic episodes during games -- to rip gobs of hair from their heads or the heads of those around them almost nine times a game.  There isn't enough locks of love in the world to replace that type of hair loss.

For LSU to be successful in their bid to avenge that night of misery 298 days ago in New Orleans, they will have to play more disciplined football, limiting their penalties to at the very least half of their current average.

In their lone loss this season, a 14-6 defeat in the Swamp to Florida, LSU surrendered 83 yards to the Gators by committing eight penalties. The difference in total yards of offense that day was 37 yards -- Florida 237, LSU 200.

Give 83 yards to Nick Saban's opportunistic bunch, and you'll be forced to throw the ball the entire second half just to cover the spread.

Penalties put LSU on the brink of an embarrassing loss to the now seven-loss Auburn Tigers in September, before narrowly escaping the Plains with a 12-10 win. Miles saw his team commit nine penalties for 80 yards in the game.

In contrast, Alabama is ranked No. 24 out of 120 teams in penalties, averaging 4.75 a game with just 38 total for the year.  That's 30 less flags than LSU's 68, and that's 30 flags that will earn you a trip to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas instead of the BCS Title game in Miami.

In a game that pits two evenly matched teams against each other like that of Alabama and LSU, the margin of error, in this case penalties, is slim to none, with the winner usually trending towards none. 

Prediction:

Call me a Bammer, a homer, a crimson-colored glasses-wearing, kool-aid-drinking fool all you want, but in a game in which attention to the smallest of details will matter the most, I'll take "The Dictator" over "The Hat" every time.

Alabama 23, LSU 17.

 

Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • 13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

    13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:53 AM EDT2014-04-20 05:53:09 GMT
    Rescuers were digging through piles of snow and ice Saturday for four Sherpa guides buried on Mount Everest when an avalanche swept down the slopes and killed 12 other Nepalese guides in the deadliest disaster on...More >>
    Nepal's authorities temporarily halted climbing on Mount Everest while search teams dug through snow and ice Sunday for three Sherpa guides missing in the deadliest avalanche on the world's highest peak that killed...More >>
  • Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:52 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:52:27 GMT
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
  • Police believe former student is behind threat at UNA

    Police believe former student is behind threat at UNA

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:23 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:23:32 GMT
    University of North Alabama police say that 22-year-old Brian Mitchell of Madison, Alabama surrendered to police on Friday. Police say Mitchell is behind a message posted on social media site, Yik Yak,More >>
    University of North Alabama police say that 22-year-old from of Madison, Alabama surrendered to police on Friday.More >>
  • Alabama defense dominates spring game

    Alabama defense dominates spring game

    Blake Sims' bid to replace AJ McCarron as Alabama's starting quarterback hit a snag Saturday afternoon when the Crimson Tide defense dominated the annual A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.More >>
    Blake Sims' bid to replace AJ McCarron as Alabama's starting quarterback hit a snag Saturday afternoon when the Crimson Tide defense dominated the annual A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.More >>
  • Marshall leads Auburn 1st team to rout of 2nd team

    Marshall leads Auburn 1st team to rout of 2nd team

    Nick Marshall threw four touchdowns in two quarters as Auburn's first team routed its second team 58-3 on Saturday in a spring football game.More >>
    Nick Marshall threw four touchdowns in two quarters as Auburn's first team routed its second team 58-3 on Saturday in a spring football game.More >>
  • Crime Stoppers April 19: Who took Manquel Mertez Whittsett's life?

    Crime Stoppers April 19: Who took Manquel Mertez Whittsett's life?

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:00:10 GMT
    It hasn't even been a year since a Birmingham man lost his life. The homicide happened in the summer of 2013, and police don't want to waste any more time. That's why they're calling on you to help in
    It hasn't even been a year since a Birmingham man lost his life. The homicide happened in the summer of 2013, and police don't want to waste any more time. That's why they're calling on you to help in this unsolved killing.More >>
  • Two families lose homes during apartment fire

    Two families lose homes during apartment fire

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:45:09 GMT
    Two families lost their homes during a fire Friday night at the Crestwood Hills Apartments in the 1200 block of 49th Place South in Birmingham. Firefighters responded around 9:30pm and they had the fireMore >>
    Two families lost their homes during a fire Friday night at the Crestwood Hills Apartments.More >>
  • Pickens County lawmen are looking for armed robbery suspects

    Pickens County lawmen are looking for armed robbery suspects

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:20:19 GMT
    Karen Michelle BarkerKaren Michelle Barker
    Pickens County Sheriff's Office want Karen Michelle Barker and Anthony Glenn Poe in custody. Lawmen say the duo followed a lady home and robbed her as she exited her vehicle. It happened around 12pm onMore >>
    Pickens County Sheriff's Office want Karen Michelle Barker and Anthony Glenn Poe in custody.More >>