Ingram, Jones and Tiffin, Oh My!

It's a rare combination of offensive talent: A legitimate Heisman contender, a healthy All-American receiver, and the all-time leading scorer in school history. No. 3 Alabama showcases each of these extraordinary talents and looked like a legitimate national championship contender in a 24-15 victory over No. 9 LSU.

The Heisman Contender
If Alabama played to its potential, which it has not recently, it would march on to its 13th national championship. The Crimson Tide seemed to reach that potential with 21 second-half points led by the sophomore running back Mark Ingram, who gained 106 of his 144 yards after the half to continue to mount a strong campaign for Heisman Trophy consideration.

The Healthy All-American Receiver
For much of his sophomore season, double teams have frustrated Julio Jones. He came into the game with just 229 receiving yards for the season. Breaking free for a 73-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, his dominance was restored.

McElroy flipped the ball out to the preseason all-American candidate, who shook off defensive back Brandon Taylor. Carpenter blocked one defender, spun around and took out another. Jones cleared the line of scrimmage and jolted down the sideline past the Alabama bench. The next guy to lay a hand on him would be teammate Darius Hanks, as they celebrated in the end zone.

Jones finished the night with four catches for 102 yards, including his second touchdown. Through three quarters, the Alabama offense looked as if it hadn't changed. In the course of one play, maybe it has.

Alabama's All-Time Scoring Leader
When Tiffin booted through a 40-yard field goal with 3:04 left in the game, he solidified his place in program history, and Alabama could start making its reservations for a Georgia Dome date with Florida in the SEC Championship Game. The senior converted three field goals and averaged 67.7 yards on six kickoffs with two touchbacks, limiting the returns of LSU's allusive Trindon Holliday.

The Muscle Shoals native has 347 career points, which breaks Phillip Doyle's previous school record of 345 points accomplished from 1987-90. He has scored 95 points this season via field goals or extra-point conversions. That ranks sixth on the Alabama single-season list for kicking points.

On Monday, Tiffin was tabbed one of 20 semifinalists for the 2009 Lou Groza Award, presented to the best kicker in college football.

Alabama made the most of its timely bye week and dominated LSU in the fourth quarter to remain in the thick of the race for the national title. There was a rash of injuries, and seemingly every play added another name to the list. But in the end, the Crimson Tide not only revived its offense, it added a layer of resiliency that championship teams almost always seem to acquire during a run to a title.

The arsenal of offensive weapons combined with the nation's finest defense mounts Saban & Co. at 9-0 for a second consecutive season, which hasn't happened since 1973-74 under Bear Bryant.

The Tide outgained LSU 452-253, and narrowed the number SEC national championship contenders to two. Once again, LSU is left taking a backseat to its former coach.

Alabama is now the SEC Western Division Champion and will head to Atlanta to play the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship game on Dec 5, 2009.

The winner of that pivotal match-up is predicted to advance as the SEC representative to the BCS National Championship played on Jan. 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California.

Jamie Christensen is the only player in Crimson Tide history to kick consecutive game winning field goals, as well as three last second, game winning field goals in one season: vs. Ole Miss on October 15, 2005, vs. Tennessee on October 22, 2005, and The Cotton Bowl vs. Texas Tech on January 2, 2006.

Christensen was in Tuscaloosa from 2003-2007 and played under coach Mike Shula (4 years) and coach Nick Saban (1 year).

He is a graduate of the Culverhouse College of Commerce with a B.S. in Business Management, B.S. in Marketing and a minor in Finance.

Christensen is a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch in Atlanta [click here].

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