Bama-LSU might be another defensive struggle

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Forget the coaches. The defenses of Alabama and LSU are taking center stage for Saturday's SEC West showdown.

Nick Saban's third-ranked Crimson Tide and Les Miles' ninth-ranked Tigers bring two of the nation's stingiest defenses into Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) ranks fifth nationally in scoring defense and has allowed one touchdown in the past three games. LSU (7-1, 4-1) is only two spots behind and has given up just 36 points in its last four games.

Bama can clinch the SEC West and a date with Florida in the league championship game with a victory. Or LSU could win and take control of the division.

Lost in the shuffle is Saban's latest meeting with his former team. He coached LSU from 2000 through 2004.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)