"He's incredible," Alabama junior defensive end Wallace Gilberry said. "He's definitely the best quarterback I've faced and this team has faced all year. "He makes perfect throws. On film he looks slow, but he's very deceiving."
Russell converted with his legs on third down twice, once with a nine yard run on third-and-four, and in the third quarter with a 25 yard scramble on a third-and-19 play.
Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson had a career day in the losing effort, throwing for 291 yards on 22 of 35 passing. Wilson had two touchdown passes and one interception. He also became the seventh Alabama quarterback to throw for 2,000 yards in a season.
Junior Chris Capps started at right tackle for Alabama, but was replaced by Kyle Tatum after being injured in the first quarter. Capps did not return, and Tatum played the rest of the game. Capps did remain dressed on full gear on the sidelines, and ran off the field after the game under his own power.
"His leg got rolled up," Shula said. "I'm not sure where he's at."
Tatum and the rest of the line played well.
"Our offensive line did a good job of protecting on early downs," Shula said.
Senior Tim Castille said, "I really think the offensive line did well. For John Parker to have time to sit back and throw, I was really proud of them and it gives us some confidence."
Keith Brown went down with what appeared to be an aggravation of a previous knee strain in Alabama's last offensive possession of the first half. Shula said Brown injured the knee and his ankle on that play. Brown left the field and returned to the sideline in his warm-ups. After the game he left the field with the aide of crutches.
Center Antoine Caldwell went out of the game with a sprained ankle, but came back later in the game. Shula said Caldwell would be okay.
D.J. Hall went to the locker room with less than five minutes remaining in the second quarter after catching an out route taking Alabama deep in LSU territory. Hall re-entered the game later, and after the game said he left the field because he re-injured the shoulder he originally hurt against Florida.
Alabama pulled out all of the stops in trying to keep up with the firepower of LSU's offense, including a perfectly executed onside kick after closing to within a touchdown at 21-14. Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said he came into the game with the onside kick in mind specifically for LSU's return, and was waiting for the time to use it.
"The said thing about it is we didn't have any points to show for it," he said. A 15-yard illegal block penalty forced the Tide into its first punting situation of the game on the series following the onside kick.
Jeremy Clark, who sprained ankle earlier this week in practice, did not start on the Alabama defense for the first time this season. Clark, who had started 36 games in his career, entered the game on the second play and was on the field for the most of the game.
Marlon Davis started at right guard Saturday night in place of B.J. Stabler, who has been nursing a sore knee all season. It was Davis' second start of the season and third of his career. Davis started against Florida International two weeks ago. Last week Stabler started but played only nine plays in the game before being replaced by Davis. Stabler did not play.
Sophomore Nikita Stover's six-yard touchdown reception with 9:04 remaining in the second quarter was the first touchdown in his career for Alabama. Stover entered the game with five receptions for 68 yards. The touchdown grab was his only catch of the game.
When Alabama started in its 3-3-5 defense, senior cornerback Eric Gray drew the first start of his career. Gray, who moved ahead of sophomore Lionel Mitchell starts, started at the right cornerback position. Gray has played in 28 games in his career at Alabama, mostly on special teams.
Alabama usually wears its Crimson jerseys at home and white on the road, but as is its usual habit, LSU chooses to wear white jerseys at home, putting Alabama in Crimson.
At the end of the third quarter Saturday, Alabama had 349 yards of total offense, eclipsing its game totals for 5 of its previous 10 games this season. Alabama finished with 369 yards of total offense, going over the 300-yard mark for the first time in four games. Alabama's last game of over 300 yards total offense was against Ole Miss, when it racked up 434 yards. Bama's season high was 444 yards of total offense against Louisiana-Monroe.
The 418 yards of total offense LSU gained against Bama's defense was the most given up by the Crimson Tide this year, and the first time the Tide has allowed over 400 yards of offense. Hawaii's 372 yards was the previous high.
Junior placekicker Jamie Christensen was 0 for 2 on field goals today, missing from 49 and 40 yards respectively. Entering the day, Christensen had hit eight consecutive field goals dating back to the Ole Miss game, and 11 of 13 for the year. He has now hit 11 of 15 with a long of 46 yards.