There is no question LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is very good, especially in 2019 with a Tiger offense designed to capitalize on his talents.
The statistics says so. Burrow has completed 205 of 260 passes, a sizzling 78.8 percent completion percentage, good for 2,805 yards, 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
The Alabama side says so.
“Joe Burrow is capable of making every throw,” Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said. “He’s athletic and can extend plays. His receivers do a good job when he extends plays. (Burrow) would do well in any system but with this spread system, he's been very effective.”
“He is very good,” Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs said. “He makes all the right throws, all the right reads. He does everything right. He’s a great quarterback so it’s going to be a great challenge.”
His own coach, Ed Orgeron, thinks Burrow is “one of the top five players”in LSU history. That raises two interesting questions: Is Burrow the best LSU quarterback ever to face Alabama? If not, who is?
The answer could go back as far as Y.A. Tittle, who led the Tigers to a win over Alabama in 1946 and went on to a successful pro career with the New York Giants. The other names on the list would include Tommy Hodson, who led LSU to a 19-18 win in 1988; Jamarcus Russell, a Mobile native who played for Nick Saban at LSU and won against Alabama in 2004 and 2005 before going on to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft; and Bert Jones, an LSU hero but one among many who could not overcome the Paul “Bear” Bryant dynasty in the 1970’s.
If the decision is based on one performance, though, the answer is easy: Rohan Davey. Nick Saban’s quarterback in 2001, Davey completed 35 passes for 528 yards at Bryant-Denny Stadium, records that stand to this day, even with Burrow’s assault on most LSU single-game marks.
If that record falls on Saturday, Alabama will be in deep trouble.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or via Twitter @cecilhurt