Latest Team Rankings
Free Rivals Alerts
|College Teams||High Schools|
November 9, 2013
Alabama thumps LSU 38-17
Nick Saban had a chance Saturday night to show a side of his coaching identity that rarely emerges.
He got to flash his inner Les Miles.
No. 1 Alabama used a fake punt in the third quarter to prolong the drive that produced the decisive touchdown. Then it was back to the patented Nick Saban brand of football, running the ball effectively and rising to the occasion on defense on the way to a 38-17 crushing of LSU, a victory that kept Alabama (9-0, 6-0) on track in the Southeastern Conference race.
The weekend started with BCS chaos and an Oregon loss, but Alabama restored order for at least one more week with 21 unanswered points in the second half.
The fake punt that started things for Alabama came after LSU had tied the score at 17 with a field goal on the opening drive of the second half. The Tigers stopped T.J. Yeldon of Alabama on a third-and-1, seemingly forcing a UA punt that would have further fueled LSU momentum. Instead, after a timeout, UA snapped the ball to C.J. Mosley in punt formation. He handed it to Jarrick Williams, who gained 6 yards to keep the drive alive. From there, Alabama scored in seven plays, with Yeldon getting a 4-yard touchdown.
Another Yeldon touchdown made it 31-17. Odell Beckham's 82-yard kickoff return gave LSU a last life, but it was snuffed out as Jeremy Hill lost 3 yards and Zach Mettenberger threw three straight incompletions.
LSU moved the ball crisply in the first half but short-circuited its own efforts with a pair of fumbles. The first cost the Tigers a sure touchdown as fullback J.C. Copeland was inches short of the goal line when he was stripped of the ball by Alabama linebacker Tana Patrick. The second - a botched snap to Mettenberger - set up the first score of the game, leading to Cade Foster's 41-yard field goal.
LSU scored the first touchdown by either team - and the first in a Bryant-Denny Stadium Alabama-LSU game since 2009 - as Jeremy Hill gave the Tigers a 7-3 lead on the first play of the second quarter.
Alabama answered, capping a 78-yard drive with a 52-yard touchdown pass from McCarron to freshman tight end O.J. Howard, who outran the LSU secondary to put UA ahead. McCarron's second touchdown pass of the half, a 9-yarder to Kevin Norwood that capped an 80-yard drive, gave UA a 17-7 lead.
LSU closed the half with a strong answering drive. The Tigers converted three crucial third downs, including the 6-yard touchdown pass from Mettenberger to Travin Dural to cut the Alabama lead to three points.
Saban said the Crimson Tide was "not playing very well at all" despite its 17-14 halftime lead. "(LSU) is a very good team, and when you are playing good teams, you've got to do things right. You've got to get off the field on third downs. We (were) not doing that."
Alabama did it in the second half, holding LSU to just three points and 52 yards of total offense.
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0225.