No. 2 LSU beats No. 3 Alabama to remain undefeated
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WAFB) - LSU at Alabama lived up to the hype of a big-time matchup featuring No. 1 against No. 2 and, in the end, it was LSU leaving with the win.
The No. 1 Tigers (9-0, 5-0 SEC) came away with the 46-41 win over the No. 2 Tide (8-1, 5-1 SEC). It was the fourth time this season LSU has beaten a Top 10 opponent. This was Alabama’s first home loss since 2015. It was a 31-game home winning streak.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was 31-of-39 for 393 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran the ball 14 times for another 64 yards. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran the ball 20 times for 103 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught nine passes for 77 yards and another touchdown. Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase caught six balls for 140 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson hauled in seven catches for 79 yards. Tight end Thaddeus Moss had six catches for 46 yards.
After the game, Burrow’s teammates carried him off the field. He was very complimentary of the offensive line and the program as a whole.
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LSU won the toss but deferred to the second half and the Alabama offense wasted no time marching down the field on its first possession. However, the drive stalled in the red zone and on a third-and-goal from the 8-yard line, Tua Tagovailoa fumbled the ball and LSU recovered. Burrow then led the Tiger offense on a scoring drive that went 92 yards in six plays and was capped off with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Chase to put LSU up 7-0 with 9:15 left in the first quarter. On Alabama’s next possession, Tagovailoa was able to get the Tide across mid-field but was forced to throw the ball away on a third-and-six. On the punt attempt, the ball went over the punter’s head and the LSU defenders tackled him at the Alabama 40-yard line. On the next play, Burrow threw an interception but it was negated by an illegal substitution penalty against Alabama. The Tigers later settled for a Cade York 40-yard field goal to take the 10-0 lead with 4:54 left in the first.
The LSU defense forced a three-and-out on Alabama's next offensive possession. But the Alabama defense then forced LSU into a three-and-out. Next, Jaylen Waddle took the Zach Von Rosenberg punt 77 yards to the house to make it 10-7 with 1:14 left in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Burrow and the LSU offense continued to find ways to move the ball down the field. On a third-and-two, Burrow found a wide open Terrace Marshall Jr. for a 29-yard touchdown but the point-after try was blocked to make it 16-7 with 13:03 left in the half. On a fourth-and-one from the LSU 49-yard line, Alabama went for it and got stuffed.
The Tigers were unable to get a first down and had to punt it back to the Tide. A few plays later, Tagovailoa found Amite native DeVonta Smith down the sideline for a 64-yard touchdown pass. The point-after was no good to make it 16-13. LSU drove down to the Alabama 19-yard line but a costly penalty and sack forced the Tigers to settle for another field goal by York. The freshman was good from 45 yards out to make it 19-13 with 4:20 left in the half. The LSU defense forced another three-and-out on a great play by outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson and forced the Tide to give the ball back to Burrow and the explosive Tiger offense. Moss made a beautiful toe-tap catch at the 1-yard line to put LSU back in scoring position and a couple of plays later, Edwards-Helaire dove over the pile for the touchdown to put LSU up 26-13 with 2:13 left in the half. While trying to drive down the field before the half, Tagovailoa threw a pass across the middle that was picked off by linebacker Patrick Queen. A penalty by the Tide after the play gave the Tigers the ball at the Alabama 13-yard line with :11 left in the half. On the very next play, Burrow tossed a touchdown pass to Edwards-Helaire to make it 33-13 at halftime.
The Tigers received the ball first to start the second half. They had a pretty good drive going until Xavier McKinney hit Burrow’s arm right before he threw the ball and Terrell Lewis recovered it. The LSU defense stepped up again and forced another three-and-out. Later in the third, Tagavailoa led the Tide on a 10-play, 95-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Najee Harris to make it 33-20 with 4:51 left in the quarter. Alabama put together another long drive that ended in a Harris touchdown. This one came on a 1-yard plunge to make it 33-27 with 14:33 left in the game.
The LSU offense struck back with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown run by Edwards-Helaire. He was phenomenal on the drive, rushing for 22 yards on four carries and catching two passes for another 12 yards. The Tigers failed on their two-point attempt to make it 39-27 with 10:07 left in the game. The Alabama offense came right back and punched it in again. On a fourth-and-two from the five-yard line, Tagavailoa hooked up with Jerry Jeudy in the end zone to make it 39-34 with 5:32 left in the game. Burrow and Edwards-Helaire then helped LSU march right back down the field and score again. Edwards-Helaire showed tremendous power on a 7-yard touchdown run to make it 46-34 with 1:37 left. But then, Tagavailoa chucked an 85-yard touchdown toss to Smith for his second score of the game to make it 46-41.
LSU finished with 559 total yards of offense to Alabama’s 541. The Tigers were only penalized four times for 35 yards. The Tide, on the other hand, committed seven penalties for 53 yards and some of those were on crucial plays. LSU easily won the time of possession, holding on to the ball for more than 34 minutes.
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