By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
Our LSU Fighting Tigers played host to Nick Saban and his #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday night and it was a game night that we all will try to forget about, along with the entire 2020 football season. The Crimson Tide rolled the Tigers 55-17 to run their record to 9-0. This Alabama team looks as strong as any that they have recently, that went on to win a national championship. Nick Saban was interviewed by CBS when Alabama arrived to Tiger Stadium and was quoted saying.. "LSU beat us last year, so they probably have some confidence that they can play well against Alabama. We're going to have to change the way they think when it comes to that." .......
Below is the game break down....
LSU would win the toss and defer, giving the Tide the opening offensive possession of the contest. Bama would waste no time taking control, as they would drive easily down the field, 75 yards in seven plays, capping the drive off with a Najee Harris five yard touchdown run. Tide takes the early lead, 7-0.
T.J. Finely and the Tigers would respond with a nice drive, going 60 yards in 11 plays before stalling at the Bama 15 yard line facing a 4th and one. Orgeron would decide to roll the dice and go for it and would come away empty handed as Ty Davis-Price was stuffed for no gain on the play. The Tide would take over on downs with 7:52 to go in the 1st quarter.
The Alabama offense would start their drive from the 15 yard line and waste little time. On the first play of the drive Jones would hit Jahleel Billingsley for a 27 yard gain. On the next play Najee Harris would break a 28 yard run up to the LSU 30 yard line. JaCoby Stevens would hit Harris late out of bounds drawing a personal foul that would move the ball to the LSU 15 yard line. Two plays later Harris would punch it in from one yard out to give Bama a 14-0 lead.
LSU would quickly go three-and-out, punting the ball right back to the red hot Crimson Tide offense...
Bama's offense would once again waste little time crossing the goal line as they would go 47 yards in five plays, ending the drive with 24 yard touchdown pass from Marc Jones to a very wide open Jahleel Billingsley to put the Tide up 21-0.
LSU would begin the next drive at their own five yard line and begin to move the football. The clock would run out on the 1st quarter as LSU would find themselves in Alabama territory.
LSU would start the quarter 1st and ten at the Bama 44 yard line. Finley would drop back to throw and find a wide open Kayshon Boutte who would pull in the pass and out race the Bama secondary to the end zone, but ended up dropping the ball right before crossing the goal line in early celebration. The ball would roll into the end zone and sit there for a few seconds before Jontre Kirklin would recognize what happened, hustle over and pick up the ball for a touchdown while his Tiger teammates were celebrating. A huge heads up play by Kirklin to save the score. Cade York would add the point after as the Tigers would finally get on the board.
The LSU defense would continue to struggle to slow down the Bama offense as three plays later Mac Jones would find DeVonte Smith for a 65 yard touchdown putting the Tide up 28-7 with 13:36 to go in the 1st half.
The Tigers would respond with something LSU fans haven't seen yet this season, a long running play for a score. With it 1st and ten at the LSU 46 yard line, John Emery would bust it up the near sidelines for a 54 yard touchdown run. It was a beautifully executed play as the offensive line gave Emery a nice hole to hit, and Kayshon Boutte would make a superb block down field to lead the way into the end zone... 28-14 Bama with 12:32 left on the clock...
With the Tigers beginning to find some life on offense, it would be up to the defense to come up with a stop or turnover to help cut into the Tide's lead. No chance, as Mac Jones and the Bama offense would continue to score with ease and quickness. Three plays, 75 yards,... Jones hits,.... you guess it,... DeVonta Smith for a 61 yard touchdown up the near sidelines as Smith again would find a way to get behind the LSU secondary. That's five Alabama possessions, five Alabama touchdowns. ... 35-14 with still 11:14 to go in the first half..
The Tigers would be unable to score as they would need to punt the ball back to the Tide...
On this possession the Bama offense wouldn't strike so quickly and the LSU defense would finally keep the Tide out of the end zone. Bama would drive 77 yards in 11 plays, but the drive would stall at the LSU 12 yard line. Alabama kicker Will Reichard would come in a boot a 30 yard field goal for a 38-14 lead.
Finley and the LSU offense would sputter again, sending Zach Von Rosenberg back onto the field to punt it back to the explosive Tide offensive unit..
Mac Jones would continue to drive nails into the LSU coffin, as they would keep scoring at will.. This time Jones would find Smith once again for his 3rd touchdown grab of the game from 20 yards out, ending a six play, 58 yards drive. Smith would sky up into the air to make an incredible one handed grab in the back corner of the end zone as Derek Stingley would get tripped up and fall right as the ball arrived. The score would now stand at 45-14 with 45 seconds left in the first half...
LSU would mercifully run out the clock on the first half to send both teams into the locker rooms...
Over the first five minutes of the 3rd quarter both teams would trade punts until Bama would finally begin a drive into LSU territory. The Tiger defense would finally force a big play as Jay Ward would strip the ball away from Slade Bolden after pulling in a pass and begin to head up field.. The turnover would set LSU up 1st and ten at their own 26 yard line.
LSU would run four plays before turning it back over to the Tide. On a 1st and ten at the LSU 37 yard line, Finley would complete short pass to Arik Gilbert. Alabama defensive back Christopher Allen would pull the ball away from Gilbert has he fought for extra yardage for a fumble recovery.
Starting the drive deep in LSU territory, Bama would easily punch in another score as Najee Harris would end the 6 play, 34 yard drive with an 11 yard touchdown run.. The score would now stand at 52-14 with 3:39 to go in the 3rd quarter.
Max Johnson would be inserted into the contest and would direct a nice 10 play 41 yard drive that would end with a 52 yard Cade York field goal. cutting the Bama lead to 52-17...
Alabama would take their next drive into the 4th quarter...
Nick Saban would begin to substitute reserves to start the 4th quarter. Bryce Young would replace Jones at quarterback and drive the Tide down to the LSU 16 yard line before having to settle for a Will Reichard field goal. ... 55-17 with 10:50 left in the game..
Max Johnson would remain at quarterback for LSU and begin their next drive with a nice 21 yard completion to Jontre Kirkland. Then he would connect with Tory Carter for 13 yards for back to back 1st downs. Johnson would then find Kayshon Boutte with a couple of big completions as the Tigers would end up with a 1st and goal at the Bama five yard line. On first down Johnson would hit Arik Gilbert for a four yard gain. Then just like in Missouri, the Tigers had three straight cracks at the end zone from the one yard line and simply couldn't get it in. Alabama would take over on downs ending LSU's 15 play, 74 yard drive with nothing to show for it.
Alabama would pound their way out from the shadow of their own goal post, and run out the remaining 4:43 on the game clock for the dominating victory...
Once again the LSU defense was shredded badly in every way. Mac Jones would finish 20-28, 385 yds, 4 touchdowns. ... DeVonta Smith was on the receiving end of eight of those completions for 231 yards and three touchdown grabs... Najee Harris had a solid outing rushing 21 times for 145 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Alabama rolled up 650 yards of total offense, 265 on the ground, and 385 through the air.. LSU couldn't slow down the Bama offensive express as they scored on nine of 13 possessions... The Alabama offense basically did what they wanted, when they wanted throughout the game.
LSU played well on offense at times in the game. T.J. Finley would start the game and finish 14-28, 144 yards, with 1 touchdown pass before being replaced by Max Johnson late in the 3rd quarter. Johnson would play the remainder of the ball game, performing well against Bama reserves, going 11-17, 110 yards passing. .. Kayshon Boutte had a great game, grabbing 8 balls for 111 yards. Arik Gilbert would contribute 29 yards on 5 catches. Tory Carter and Jontre Kirklin both had nice catches to help keep drive alive. John Emery would lead the team in rushing with 79 yards on seven carries, while Ty Davis-Price would add 24 yards rushing... The offensive line showed some improvement in the ball game, as they showed aggressiveness in their run blocking at times, but gave up five sacks to the tough Alabama defense.
This LSU team did show some fight against a Alabama team which in recent weeks has proven to be heads and shoulders above everyone else in college football. Trying to be positive, the Tigers have an opportunity to close out the season at 5-5 if they could somehow manage to win their final two games, at Florida next week, then home against Ole Miss.. Considering the way this season has gone, 4-6 or 5-5 with a Bowl game invite and victory would be a nice way to end the season and kiss this nightmarish 2020 goodbye...
So next up for the Tigers is a trip to Gainesville on Saturday, December 12th, to take on the Eastern Division Champions Florida Gators. TV Network and game time is still TBA....
Photos By: LSU/SEC