The LSU Tigers “rolls” over the Tide

The #2 ranked LSU Tigers walks out of Tuscaloosa with an undefeated season still intact 46-41


Photo courtesy of The Advocate

LSU quarterback (9) runs the ball against Alabama’s Raekwon Davis (99) as he led the Tigers to a huge road win.

Hayden Cole, Staff Reporter

The last time LSU and Alabama faced each other was when both teams were in the top four was back in 2011. It was titled “The Game Of The Century” and LSU was ranked number one and Alabama ranked number two. The Tigers took the historic game 9-6 in a game where not one touchdown was scored. They would meet again in the BCS National Championship game where Alabama got their revenge and throttled the Tigers 21-0. 

Eight years later, these two teams meet again with both teams being ranked in the top four. Ever since that historic matchup in 2011, the Tide have won eight straight games against LSU. Joe Burrow and the number two ranked Tigers had other things on their mind, in a game where the loser would have a tough time getting back into playoff contention.

Before the game, Alabama starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa just came off a knee surgery 21 days prior and the odds of him playing were questionable. Even if he did play, the LSU defenders would use that to their advantage and try to take him out of the game. A little before the game Alabama ruled him active and that he would be the starter. 

Many thought that the Crimson Tide would easily beat the Tigers as they were -6.5 point favorites. Even with a loss for both teams, the Tigers still would have had a 40% chance of making the playoffs and Alabama had a 42% chance. But nonetheless, it wouldn’t be the easiest to get back to the final four. 

The game started just how everyone thought it would with the Tide rolling down the field and making the Tiger defense look terrible with all the easy chunk plays. That was until Alabama got down to the LSU eight yard line. On 3rd and goal, Tua ran to his right and looked to score on a play that looked to be a fail but right when he gets to the five yard line, he fumbled the football and the Tigers scooped it up. After this, the tides turned and LSU would never give up this momentum. 

The Tigers took advantage of the mistake and scored a touchdown to strike first. Alabama looked to respond but the LSU defense stopped them and forced them to punt. The Tigers then kicked a field goal to put them up 10-0. Towards the end of the first quarter Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle returned an LSU punt for 77 yards to only put them down 10-7. 

The second quarter was not kind to the Crimson Tide as the Tigers opened up the quarter with a touchdown, but with the extra point being no good, it was 16-7. The Tide got risky as they went for it on fourth and one but the run was for no gain and turned the ball over on downs. The next score wouldn’t come until a little over half way through the quarter as Alabama scored on a 64-yard pass to DeVonta Smith and now the score was 16-13. 

Right as the Tide were getting back into the game, LSU kicked a 45 yard field goal to put the Tigers up 19-13. Alabama was unable to score and had to punt after a drive where they didn’t even gain a yard. With 26 second left in the first half, the Tigers score a touchdown to go up 26-13. Alabama tried to score before half but threw an interception and LSU took advantage and score with no time left on the clock and went up 33-13.

The second half started shaky for LSU as Joe Burrow fumbled around the Alabama 42. Fortunately for the Tigers, Alabama was unable to capitalize and forced to punt. After an LSU punt, the Tide finally broke through and scored a touchdown on a 15-yard pass to Najee Harris to put them down 33-20. Alabama got the ball back late in the third quarter and punched the ball in once more on a Najee Harris one-yard run. 

LSU struck back early in the fourth quarter and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire five-yard touchdown run. Alabama responded with a touchdown of their own with a five-yard pass to Jerry Jeudy. Both teams strike with back-to-back touchdowns to put the score at 46-41. The Crimson Tide needed a successful onside kick to have a chance to complete the comeback of the century, but it failed and LSU ran out the clock to secure the win. It has been eight year since the Tigers were able to take down the Tide and this one has big playoff implications. 

Joe Burrow finished the day with 393 yards passing with three touchdowns and completed 79.5% of his passes. Rushing for the Tigers, Clyde Edwards-Helaire ended with 103 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Ja’Marr Chase led the wide receivers with six receptions, 140 yards and a touchdown. 

Tua Tagovailoa had 418 yards through the air and four touchdowns, but one interception. Najee Harris had 146 yards on the ground on 19 carries and a touchdown. Devonta Smith had seven receptions for 213 yards and two touchdowns.

The rest of LSU’s schedule brings a road game against Ole Miss and then they come home for the last two games against Arkansas and Texas A&M. Alabama, on the other hand will go on the road to face Mississippi State then go back home for a non-conference matchup against the West Carolina Catamounts. Then they finish off the year with The Iron Bowl against the 11th ranked Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare.