The Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa in Ed Orgerons’ final tilt against the Tide as the Head Coach of LSU. “It’s LSU, Bama” said Orgeron earlier this week. “Throw out all the record books, this is the reason you play in the SEC.”
LSU comes into the game a whopping 28.5 point underdog. The Tigers feel that they know what Saturday will bring. “We know the rivalry” said LSU linebacker Damone Clark. “We feel it’s going to be special on Saturday.”
The Tigers won the toss and deferred to the second half. Head Coach Ed Orgeron has said he is very confident in his defense this week, and you never know what can happen on a Saturday in the SEC.
The Tide offense would start at their own 25 and the Tigers would force the Tide to settle for a field goal. The field goal however, would bounce off the cross bar.
LSU put together an eight play 68 yard touchdown drive. Max Johnson passed to Brian Thomas from eight yards out, his first touchdown reception at LSU.
After the kick-off to the Tide, the Tigers defense forced a three and out. However, the Tide would force back-to-back three and outs against the Tigers. Both teams would battle for field position. LSU would hold Bama scoreless through nearly the entire first half. A big hit on Ty Davis-Price, for a loss of four, by Will Anderson seemed to ignite the Bama defense. Bama would receive the ball with just under nine minutes left and go on a 12 play 77 yard scoring drive that ate up over six minutes on the clock. The touchdown was scored by a Brian Robinson rush from two yards out.
The Tide would score again after Jalyn Armour-Davis intercepted a pass broken up by former Baton Rouge native, and current Tide linebacker, Christian Harris. Going into half time Bama would have only a seven point lead. Many people thought the Tigers would be ready to call it quits by now. However the off week had done them good. “Our guys came to win” said Orgeron. “I think we put in about eight different defenses this week.”
Coming out after halftime the Tigers looked to start strong. The TDP broke a long run of 11 yards and linebacker Henry To’o To’o forced a fumble that Bama would recover. Two plays later Bryce Young would hit Jameson Williams on a 58 yard reception for the touchdown. The point after would sail wide right. The Tide would be ahead by 13 at this point.
On their ensuing possession, the Tigers would go it twice on 4th and short. Both times TDP would gain more yardage than was needed for the first down. Johnson would complete to Trey Palmer for a monster gain of 34 yards down to the Alabama 10 yard line and have the Tigers in four down territory. Two plays later a horse collar penalty on Bama safety Jordan Battle would move the ball to the Alabama eight yard line and give the Tigers a fresh set of downs. Johnson would hit Jack Bech for the easy score. Tigers knocking on the door, down by six. In the third quarter, the Tigers had 42 rushing yards while Alabama had -12.
Damone Clark took over the Tiger defense in the fourth quarter. Covering Tide receiver Slade Bolden, Clark had a PBU, and had several quarterback hurries. One of which lead to a Bryce Young uncommon and costly mistake. A grounding penalty; throwing to an ineligible receiver. This had Young flustered, which later lead to another mistake in which he was sacked and fumbled the ball, and defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy pounced on the loose ball. The Tigers were in plus territory at the Alabama 42. They ran the ball once for one yard and threw three straight times for three straight incompletions. Alabama would get the ball back and with the help of Damone Clark would gain negative five yards and go three-and –out.
LSU would have one last shot to take down the No. 2 team in the country with a little less than a minute to work with from their own 38 and no timeouts. On the first snap, Max Johnson took a sack for a loss of nine. Then completed for a gain of 10. On third down his pass was incomplete. On 4th and 9 Johnson completed to Tomas Jr. for a gain of 16 to the Alabama 45. Jaray Jenkins would catch a pass of 15 and get out of bounds at the Alabama 30. With five seconds left Johnson gave one final heave to the end zone where it looked like both teams were waiting to catch the ball. Brian Branch knocked it down, and the ensuing facemask penalty on the Tigers was sure to end the game either way.
Final Score: Alabama 20-LSU 14