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Game of the week

NO. 5 LSU (7-1) AT NO. 4 ALABAMA (9-0)

Today, 1:30 p.m.

Bryant-Denny Stadium

TV: Ch. 2

Last week: LSU beat Appalachian State, 24-0. Alabama won at Mississippi State, 17-0.

Last meeting: 2004, LSU won, 26-10, at home.

At stake: Alabama's outside chance at playing for the national championship. Plus, winner is in driver's seat in tight SEC West race.

Players to watch: LSU QB JaMarcus Russell is 105-of-154, 1,369 passing, 10 TDs, 5 ints. in last six games this season. For the Crimson Tide, look for QB Brodie Croyle (151-of-243, 1,930 passing, 12 TDs, 4 ints.) to take some chances downfield as RB Ken Darby (leads SEC with 968 rushing) isn't likely to find many holes in LSU front seven (fourth in SEC, 16th in nation vs. run, 107.5 ypg).

Extra points: Alabama leads the series, 43-20-5 . . . Since 2003, Tigers are 8-2 in SEC road games while Crimson Tide is just 6-5 in SEC home games . . . Alabama K Jamie Christensen (11-of-17 on FGs) has already nailed game-winners in final seconds in wins over Ole Miss, Tennessee.