What. A. Game.
Coming into the game, the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide hadn’t lost at home in over 30 games. Considering how Tua Tagovailoa has beaten the tigers the past two season, and how this has major implications for the College Football Playoff, this was the single most important game of the season for both Alabama and the LSU Tigers.
Bama had the ball first, driving down the field with an electric pace. However, Tagovailoa fumbled down at the LSU 8 yard line, stalling the drive. LSU countered, driving down the field through the air. Ja’Marr Chase was the highlight of the drive, catching a 23-yard pass for first down, and an spectacular touchdown pass from Heisman hopeful Joe Burrow.
After going up 10-0 on Alabama in the first, the Crimson Tide got on the board with a 77-yard punt return by Jaylen Waddle. However, LSU had an answer for Alabama. A combination of solid runs by Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Burrow passes ended up with another passing TD for Burrow. With the PAT blocked, the Tigers led 16-7.
Alabama struggled on offense in the first half. Two fumbles, a turnover on downs and a interception kept what is normally a dominant offense off the field. Few drives went more than 30 yards. However, Alabama would eventually score with a 4 play, 90 yard drive with an electric 64-yard catch and run by Devonta Smith. After that, it was all LSU, who added a field goal and two touchdowns, making the score 33-13 at half.
Najee Harris broke off a 31 yard run to start Alabama’s second drive of the 3rd quarter. Tagovailoa completed a 22-yard pass to get Alabama deep into LSU territory and the rest was all Najee Harris, who scored to keep ‘Bama in the game.
LSU answered with a long drive and another rushing touchdown from Edwards-Helaire to make the score 39-27. The Crimson Tide were still in the game with 10:07 to play in the fourth quarter. Tagovailoa and the offense took a long 14 play, 75 yard drive downfield and completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy. LSU came back firing immediately with a drive of their own, with Joe Burrow making a crucial run for 18 yards to setup a 7-yard score for Edwards-Helaire to put LSU up 46-34 with less than 2 minutes to play. You figure the game is over, right?
Wrong, absolutely wrong. Devonta Smith reached into his bag of tricks and broke off a 85 yard TD to make the score 46-41. Alabama failed to recover the onside kick, sealing their fate and a monumental win for LSU.
Joe Burrow completed 31 of 39 passes for 393 yards and 3 touchdowns. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, despite being the shortest guy on the field stood tall, rushing for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ja’Marr Chase caught 6 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown.
Tua Tagovailoa completed 21 of 40 passes for 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also fumbled early in the first quarter. Najee Harris also had a phenomenal game, rushing for 147 yards and a touchdown. Devonta Smith racked up 213 yards and caught 2 TDs on the day.
LSU remains unbeaten of course, and they will take on the Ole Miss Rebels next week. Alabama lost their first game of the year meanwhile, potentially lost their spot in the CFP, and will head on the road next week to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs.