LSU at Alabama: A battle for QB1


“Snap, place, kick, in the air – LSU wins! I can tell you for sure now, LSU wins! In overtime, the LSU Fightin’ Tigers – and I’ll say it again – proves they are the No. 1 team in the nation as they have beaten Alabama for the second consecutive year. Final score in overtime, LSU: 9, Alabama: 6. How ‘bout that?”

This call from Jim Hawthorne of the LSU Sports Radio Network in 2011 was the last time LSU was victorious versus Alabama before Saturday. The Tigers took down the Tide in Tuscaloosa in the matchup that was hyped up as “The Game of the Century” as the top two teams in college football squared off.

With a similar feel in 2019 – though a complete 180 on the scoreboard – LSU took the cake again.

With 33 first-half points, and a 20-point advantage entering the half, LSU executed the first half recipe to defeat Alabama: score big in anticipation for Alabama’s second half adjustments.

As the narrative goes, Alabama posted 28 more points in the second half, but LSU added 13 to its total to surpass the Tide 46-41.

The Tigers were backed by another impeccable performance by Heisman frontrunner Joe Burrow. The quarterback was just 7 yards shy of reaching the 400-yard mark for the second time this season. He hit 79.5% of his passes with three touchdowns and added 64 yards on the ground for some clutch first-down pickups.

It’s almost redundant to say Burrow increased his draft stock after another week. Yet, here we are again. The fifth-year senior plays with a swagger and moxie that only a few quarterbacks have the ability to embody. Most of these intangible traits are shown when operating the pocket with his high football IQ kicking in.

Though sacked five times on Saturday afternoon, Burrow’s ability to scamper out of the pocket was a difference maker in LSU’s offensive prowess. Whether a QB draw or an improvised run, the quarterback’s balance, vision and decision making as a runner was on display.

But, of course, Burrow’s arm stood tall through the rest. The big-armed quarterback continued to show impressive ball placement, accuracy and velocity control throughout the game.

During most quarterback evaluations, one will notice that a prospect excels in one particular area of the field almost at the expense of another. For example, Jake Fromm, Georgia, is a technician at the intermediate levels of the field but has issues with the deep ball. Jordan Love, Utah State, shows the ability to drop it in a bucket 50-plus yards downfield but will miss layups within 15 yards.

Burrow doesn’t show any glimpses of these types of inconsistencies. He excels at every level of the field with appropriate arm strength and accuracy.

An evident detail of Burrow’s game this weekend was his ability to quickly process and steadily go through progressions. This was the key to the game. His coverage instincts were in full force as he quickly bounced off his first, second and, sometimes, even his third read and seemed to always deliver the appropriate outcome.


Burrow’s actions on Saturday – along with his body of work this season – solidified his status as QB1.

Burrow’s QB1 status knocked the former off the top shelf. Well, kind of.

Three weeks removed from ankle surgery, Tua Tagovailoa’s status remained in question entering Saturday’s matchup. That was the report and that’s what we’re going with. With a pseudo-cast on his right leg, Tagovailoa grinded for four quarters showing mental and physical toughness.

Though his grit and grind, he did not have a pretty game. His 52.5% completion mark was his second worst outing as a starter but his 418 passing yards tied for his second best career posting. It was an odd day for the Hawaii native. Even through flashes in the pan of incredible placement and high-end reads, the opposite seemed all too common for the junior quarterback.

A timely interception on the last drive of the first half may be the only pass he remembers.

Tagovailoa garners a lot of flak for struggling to get off his first option resulting in too confident of throws that create situations like the one above. His confident demeanor is appreciated at times, but can also be the downfall of the talented passer.

Though the junior quarterback is allowed to be imperfect at times (*he whispers*), Tagovailoa was in obvious discomfort when delivering chip shot passes to his talented receiving corps that he normally delivers with ease. One can almost feel the pain with him as he attempts these passes.

It wasn’t all bad for the 6-1, 218-pound quarterback, though. Tagovailoa went back to his roots and took advantage of one-on-one coverage situations.

He also continued his career theme of exposing the defense by eye manipulation starting with the first play of the game and then later a 64-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith.


A matchup headlined by two premiere passers didn’t disappoint. Both quarterbacks showed their potential and true colors when it mattered most.

Burrow reigns supreme and locks in his QB1 status.

Christian Page is a scout and writer for His scouting experience dates back to 2015. Christian has a background of radio along with collegiate athletic department experience and corporate marketing.