BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU hosted No. 1 Alabama in Tiger Stadium for an SEC West matchup and the Tiger defense struggled to stop the Crimson Tide offense in front of an official crowd of 22,349, with many of those in attendance from the visiting team.
LSU (3-5) fell 55-17 to Alabama (9-0). It was the most points Alabama has ever scored against LSU.
The Tide gained 650 total yards. Alabama quarterback Mac Jones was 20-of-28 for 385 yards and four touchdowns, most of which he put up in the first half. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith, a native of Amite, La., led the way with eight catches for 231 yards and three touchdowns. Smith now has the school record for 200-yard receiving games (4), passing Amari Cooper (3). It’s also his second 200-yard game against LSU.
Running back Najee Harris was the bell cow for the ground attack with 21 carries for 145 yards and three touchdowns. This is the first game in Alabama history in which the Tide had a player score three receiving touchdowns and another player score three rushing touchdowns.
LSU true freshman TJ Finley started his fifth game. He was 14-of-28 for 144 yards and a touchdown before being taken out in the third quarter. He didn’t have any turnovers. True freshman Max Johnson was 11-of-17 for 110 yards. He also protected the ball. The Alabama defense harassed the two young players all night, registering a total of five sacks and several quarterback hurries. The Crimson Tide defenders were also credited with seven tackles for loss.
Alabama got the ball first and wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard. Harris ran for a 14-yard touchdown to put the Tide up 7-0 after a 7-play, 75-yard drive with 11:56 remaining in the first quarter.
On its first drive of the game, LSU went for it on fourth-and-inches at the Alabama 15-yard line but running back Ty Davis-Price was stopped for no gain. The 11-play, 60-yard drive resulted in no points for the Tigers. For the second straight week, the Tigers’ inability to get any push on a fourth-and-one wrecked their opening possession of the contest.
Then, Alabama marched 85 yards in five plays one a drive capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Harris to put the Tide up 14-0 with 5:50 remaining in the first quarter. Five plays after a 22-yard Zach Von Rosenberg punt, Alabama scored again on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Jones to a wide open Jahleel Billingsley to put Alabama up 21-0 with 2:27 left in the first quarter.
LSU responded in the second quarter with a pass from Finley to Kayshon Boutte that looked like a 44-yard touchdown but Boutte dropped the ball on the 1-yard line and Jontre Kirklin from Lutcher, La. picked it up in the end zone almost immediately for the touchdown to make it 21-7 with 14:53 remaining in the quarter.
However, Alabama came right back with a 65-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Smith, who ran past the secondary, to make it 28-7 with 13:36 left in the second quarter.
LSU answered right back on a 54-yard touchdown run by John Emery Jr. to make it 28-14 with 12:32 left in the second quarter. The Tigers went 69 yards in just three plays and less than 1:00.
However, another deep pass to Smith resulted in a 61-yard touchdown to put Alabama up 35-14 with 11:14 remaining in the first half. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron expressed his frustration on the sideline and it was caught on video.
After Alabama scored on its first five possessions, the LSU defense was able to stop the Alabama offense but the Tide still put up points on a 30-yard field goal to make it 38-14 with 3:20 left in the half. After an LSU three-and-out, Alabama was able to move down the field and score again. Smith soared for a “ridiculous” one-handed catch in the end zone from 20 yards out to make it 45-14 with :46 left in the first half. It was Smith’s third touchdown of the game.
LSU received the opening kickoff in the second half but the offense quickly went three-and-out again but the defense was able to finally force Alabama to punt. Later, Harris went untouched on his way to an 11-yard touchdown run to put Alabama up, 52-14 with 3:39 left in the third quarter. It was his third touchdown of the game.
A Cade York 52-yard field goal with around :30 left in the third quarter made it 52-17. Then, in the fourth quarter, Alabama added another field goal to go up, 55-17.
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