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Tigers report: Strategy and personnel

 
Strategy and personnel · Notes, quotes · Inside slant
 

THIS WEEK'S GAME: Alabama at LSU, Nov. 13 -- Home teams usually have a major advantage in the SEC, but not in this series where the visiting team has won six of the past eight meetings. In games played in Baton Rouge, Alabama leads the series 23-6-2. That's even remained true when the Tigers have had better teams than the Crimson Tide. For LSU to reserve that trend, the Tigers must be able to stop the run and run the ball consistently and avoid the kind of turnovers that have plagued the offense.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Marcus Randall and JaMarcus Russell -- LSU continues to play both quarterbacks with Russell likely to start, play the first two or three series and then switch to Randall, the fifth-year senior who seems to do better off the bench. Either way, the Tigers them to make plays without making big mistakes and turnovers.

LB Lionel Turner -- LSU will face a physical Alabama running game, so Turner and the front seven better be ready for a steady dose of hard-nosed football.

DT Claude Wroten -- Another key against the run, Wroten earned the SEC defensive lineman of the week award two weeks ago after recording six tackles, five solos, three tackles behind the line and two sacks while forcing a fumble and four quarterback pressures against Vanderbilt.

OL Rudy Niswanger -- A junior who has started at left guard, right guard and right tackle this year must now start at center in place of injured senior Ben Wilkerson, one of the nation's best centers. Niswanger has to get the job done against an Alabama defense that ranks No. 1 in the nation, allowing 221.8 yards per game.

ROSTER REPORT
The Tigers continue to prepare for Alabama without center Ben Wilkerson, who is lost for the year after suffering a ruptured patella tendon in his left knee against Vanderbilt. Niswanger is expected to start and be backed up by sophomore Doug Planchard, with sophomore Brian Johnson, freshman Will Arnold and junior Terrell McGill sharing the two guard positions and struggling tackler Nate Livings also spending some time at guard. ... Sophomore safety Jessie Daniels missed practice last week after having a pin inserted into a bone in his wrist. Saban said Daniels is expected to practice this week and play against Alabama with a cast on his arm.

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