It was a critical win for Alabama as the home stretch has begun for teams wanting a chance to play for the national championship in this new era of the four-team College Football Playoff. The win improved Bama to 8-1, including 5-1 in Southeastern Conference games. LSU fell to 7-3 overall, 3-3 in the SEC.
Some of the Alabama heroes in the Crimson Tide’s 20-13 overtime win over LSU Saturday night in Tiger Stadium were struggling, at least until crunch time.
Put quarterback Blake Sims at the head of that list. Although he completed four passes in the drive to tie the game and send it to overtime and then completed two more – including the game-winner – in overtime, Sims did not have a great statistics line.
Sims completed 20-45 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns and was sacked only once. Some good and some bad. He also had five rushes for a net 12 yards.
Amari Cooper had eight catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, but he also had four dropped passes. Christion Jones had three catches for 38 yards and DeAndrew White three for 36, including the game-winner. O.J. Howard had three receptions for 21 yards, two of them in the drive in the final minute of the fourth quarter to get the game to overtime.
Adam Griffith made field goals of 39 yards and 27 yards, but also missed a 27-yard field goal.
Eddie Jackson had the game’s only interception and returned it 18 yards to set up Griffith’s long field goal just before halftime that tied the game at 10-10.
J.K. Scott had nine punts for a 48.6 yard average with a long of 66 that was downed inside the 10-yard line.
Defensively, Jarran Reed was in on 15 tackles, including one for loss; Reggie Ragland was in on 13 tackles, also including one for loss. Trey DePriest was in on nine tackles, Brandon Ivory and Nick Perry eight each, and Landon Collins and A'Shawn Robinson seven each.
In team statistics:
Alabama had 15 first downs, LSU 17. The Tide rushed 29 times for 106 yards, the Tigers 56 times for 183 yards. Bama completed 20-46 passes for two touchdowns with no interceptions for 209 yards. LSU completed 8-26 for 76 yards for one touchdown and one interception.
Alabama had total offense of 75 plays for 315 yards, LSU 82 plays for 259 yards.
Time of possession favored LSU by almost 2-1, the Tigers having the ball for 38:16, the Tide for 21:44.
Alabama was penalized three times for 29 yards, LSU twice for 20.
Bama converted 8-20 third down opportunities, LSU 9-22.