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November 10, 2013
INSIDER REPORT: McCarron sets Alabama record
Fifth-year senior quarterback AJ McCarron threw his way to the top of the University of Alabama career passing yards list Saturday night.
McCarron threw for 129 yards in the first half, and along the way passed John Parker Wilson (2005-08) for first on the UA passing list. Wilson's mark was 7,924 yards. McCarron has 7,997 yards.
McCarron, a Davey O'Brien Award finalist, also holds the career touchdown passes mark and entering Saturday was closing in on the record for the highest winning percentage by a quarterback. His .944 winning percentage (34 wins, two losses) is good for fifth in FBS history.
Jeremy Hill and O.J. Howard finally ended the touchdown drought for LSU and Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
In the second quarter, Hill scored on a 3-yard run for LSU and Howard followed minutes later with a 52-yard touchdown reception for the Crimson Tide.
The scoring plays were the first touchdowns by either team in Tuscaloosa since Alabama's 24-15 victory in 2009.
In the 2011 "Game of the Century," LSU edged Alabama with field goals in a 9-6 overtime victory.
Scouts from 11 National Football League teams were in attendance Saturday night. Alabama and LSU annually put several student-athletes into the league.
NFL teams represented were the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A total of 610 credentials were issued, 140 fewer than 2011's "Game of the Century."
Several credentials were given to national outlets, including USA Today, Espn.com, CBSsports.com, Grantland.com, SI.com, The New York Times and Sporting News.
Making drives count
Alabama entered the LSU game ranked sixth nationally in percentage of offensive possessions scoring a touchdown, finding the end zone 47.8 percent of the time (43 of 90 possessions). During the previous four games, the Crimson Tide scored touchdowns on 62.5 percent of its drives. Alabama had five touchdowns on 10 drives Saturday.
An Alabama quarterback hadn't been sacked in 18 quarters until Saturday's second quarter. The Crimson Tide offensive line hadn't allowed a sack since the third quarter of the Ole Miss game Sept. 28.
Virginia Tech tallied three sacks against UA in the season opener. But since that time, the front five had allowed just three sacks through Saturday's first half, keeping starting quarterback AJ McCarron clean for the most part.
Alabama's seven sacks allowed ranked 11th nationally and second in the Southeastern Conference.
New York Yankees captain and shortstop Derek Jeter was on the sidelines for the game, along with former Pinson Valley High School standout and current Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings and world champion Boston Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy.
Before his baseball career took him to the major leagues, Jennings was an Alabama football commitment.
Saturday night was the fourth consecutive game and the fifth time in seven games in which Alabama or LSU was ranked No. 1.
LSU was the top-ranked team in the nation in both games during the 2011 season, and Alabama was No. 1 in 2008, 2012 and Saturday.
The Crimson Tide is 4-1 in those five games.
It was the sixth straight meeting that both teams are ranked in the top 10.
Michael Southern contributed to this report.
Reach Aaron Suttles at email@example.com or at 205-722-0229.