By CODY WORSHAM
Tiger Rag Editor
STOCK UP: Dave Aranda
Whoever LSU hires as its next coach, his biggest task will be retaining Aranda as defensive coordinator. The Tiger defense was stellar against the SEC’s leader in scoring, holding the Tide 33 points below their season average. Only the scrambling of Jalen Hurts kept this game from being a deadlock. All night, LSU’s defense was in the right positoin to make plays, thanks to Aranda’s system. The 40-year-old coordinator is under contract for the foreseeable future. Joe Alleva would do well to make sure that remains the case when he makes his next hire.
STOCK UP: Dwayne Thomas
LSU’s senior defensive back made headlines earlier in the week when he said that the Tigers would “dominate” Alabama. His teammates on the other side of the ball failed to get the memo, but Thomas did his part to back up that talk. Playing nearly every snap of the game, Thomas was phenomenal: 9 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 pass break ups, and 1 QB hurry. It was a memorable day for a player who began the season buried on the depth chart but worked his way back to the field in the slot. He won’t be giving up that spot any time soon.
STOCK DOWN: Record-Setting Offense
Through three games under the guidance of Ed Orgeron and Steve Ensminger, LSU’s offense had set a record in each content. That streak ended on Saturday. The Tigers simply couldn’t move the ball against the nation’s best defense, managing just __ total yards, and only __ after the half. The biggest culprit? LSU’s offensive line, which couldn’t open holes in the running game and had Danny Etling running for his life on more than one dropback. When Etling did have time, he was frantic and inaccurate.
STOCK DOWN: Fournette’s Heisman Hopes
After Fournette raced for 284 yards against Ole Miss two weeks ago, setting a single-game school record, the national media began loosely speculating that the junior tailback could work his way back into Heisman contention — with a good game against the Tide. That didn’t happen. Through little fault of his own, Fournette once again had little impact against Alabama, managing just 35 yards on 17 carries, little better than last year’s 31 yards on 19 carries. The most highly-anticipated career perhaps in all of LSU history will end without the nation’s most coveted individual trophy.