Jayden Daniels can join elite company with a win vs. Alabama

Quarterback Jayden Daniels throws a pass as the LSU Tigers take down Alabama 32-31 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.Lsu Vs Alabama Football 1699
Quarterback Jayden Daniels throws a pass as the LSU Tigers take down Alabama 32-31 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.Lsu Vs Alabama Football 1699 /
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Jayden Daniels can join some elite company if he guides the LSU Tigers to a win over Alabama this week.

Here’s a trivia question for you at home: Who was the last college quarterback to defeat Nick Saban in back-to-back years?

Wrong. It’s Rex Grossman at Florida in 2000 and 2001 when Nick Saban was the head coach of the LSU Tigers. Before that, it was Drew Brees in 1998 and 1999 when Saban was at Michigan State.

Since taking over at Alabama, no opposing quarterback has even beaten Saban twice, the last quarterback to accomplish that feat was Jason Campbell in 2002 and in Saban’s last season at LSU, 2004.

Jayden Daniels is looking to make history and join that elite group of quarterbacks with a win this Saturday. Daniels went 22 of 32 passing for 182 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 95 yards and a score on 18 carries in LSU’s 32-31 win over Bama last season. He might need to be even better this time around.

Brees and Grossman both had to step their game up in the rematch. In 1998, Brees and Purdue beat Michigan State 25-24 and Brees threw for 196 yards. Then in 1999, Brees threw for 509 yards and five touchdowns and added a rushing TD for good measure in a 52-28 win.

Grossman went 18/28 for 276 and three touchdowns in 2000 as Florida beat LSU 41-9. In 2001, Grossman went 22/32 for 464 five touchdowns, and one interception in a 44-15 Gators win.

At Alabama, Saban has not let that type of thing happen. LSU did beat Alabama in back-to-back years, 2010 and 2011, and they did it with the same QB combo, but Jordan Jefferson started in 2010 and Jarrett Lee started in 2011. They split snaps in both games.

In rematches against the same starting quarterback who beat Alabama the year before since Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa in 2007, the Crimson Tide are a perfect 7-0 with an average margin of victory of 16.14 points. Those seven quarterbacks are; Tim Tebow, Matthew Stafford, Johnny Manziel, Nick Marshall, Chad Kelly, Jarrett Stidham, and Bo Nix.

Jayden Daniels will try to avoid joining that list of quarterbacks, though it does include two Heisman Trophy winners and three first-round NFL draft picks.