Records fall in Tigers' win over Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The pitch-and-catch combo of quarterback Rohan Davey and wide receiver Josh Reed were unstoppable against Alabama on Saturday. Davey broke two LSU passing records and Reed set new Southeastern Conference marks in the Tigers' 35-21 win over the Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Of the school record 35 completions on 44 attempts for a record 528 passing yards Davey posted, Reed accounted for an SEC record 19 catches and 293 yards. The duo connected for a 26-yard scoring play at the end of the third quarter that broke a 21-21 tie and put the Tigers ahead for good.

It was one of two touchdown passes for Davey against the Crimson Tide. Running back LaBrandon Toefield provided the other three for LSU on the ground.

The win was LSU's third in four road games this season and improved the Tigers to 5-3 on the season, 3-3 in SEC games. Alabama fell to 3-5 with a 2-4 mark in the league.

The Tigers jumped out to a 14-0 lead after taking their first two possessions into the end zone for scores. Davey, who started the Ole Miss game 1-for-6 passing, hit 4 of his first 5 passes on LSU's first drive and had another completion nullified by penalty.

Following a three-and-out opening possession from Alabama, the Davey-to-Reed exhibition began. The Tigers' very first offensive play was a 15-yard Davey pass to Reed that moved LSU near midfield. Later in the drive on third-and-5 from Alabama's 30, Davey found Reed again for a 6-yard gain that was augmented with a personal foul call on the Tide.

After a pass interference call on Alabama, LSU received an automatic first down amd was moved down to 5-yard line. Toefield, who finished with 23 carries for 73 yards, covered the distance in two plays, getting the score from three yards out behind blocks from offensive lineman Dwayne Pierce, Stephen Peterman and Ben Wilkerson.

Penalties would haunt Alabama throughout the day, as the Crimson Tide was flagged nine times and had 85 yards marked off against them.

Alabama moved into LSU territory on its next possession but had to punt when the drive moved backward. This set the Tigers up at their own 14 where Davey began another efficient drive. He completed all six of his passes on an 9-play drive, including a 20-yard bubble screen play to Reed that allowed the receiver to move pass Tony Moss into third place on LSU's all-time receiving yards list.

Two plays later, the Tigers called a play-action pass with wide receiver Michael Clayton in the right slot and Jerel Myers flanked to his right. When Clayton cut to the outside, he took Alabama's corner and safety with him, allowing Myers to head to the end zone on a post route wide open. Davey, executing the fake to bring in the other safety, found Myers on a 35-yard scoring pass to give LSU a 14-0 lead.

Alabama got its score in the second quarter, ending a drive started in the first period with a 23-yard field goal from Neal Thomas. With quarterback Tyler Watts using the option, the Crimson Tide move from its 19 down to the LSU 7 on a mix of toss plays to tailbacks Ahmaad Galloway and Santonio Beard. The backs combined 16 carries for 80 yards – 6 yards less than Watts would accumulate on the ground.

The Tide actually had the ball first-and-goal at the 8, but Jarvis Green brought down Watts for a loss of five on second down from the seven.

A questionable call on the ensuing kickoff went in the Tigers favor and prevented a possible momentum surge from the Crimson Tide. Domanick Davis returned the kick to the 22, where he was met by a host of Alabama tacklers. Before Davis was brought to the ground, the ball was stripped loose and recovered by the Tide. Referees ruled Davis down before the fumble, allowing the Tigers to maintain possession.

The play was costly for LSU, however, as Davis re-aggravated knee and ankle injuries and did not return to action.

LSU got on the move again in the second quarter after trading punts with Alabama. On first-and-ten from the Tide 49, Clayton, racing past Alabama defensive back Thurman Ward, came up with a 40-yard catch to move LSU down to the 8-yard line. But on second-and-goal from the 6, Davey threw to his right for Reed in front corner of the end zone and had the ball deflected by Tide rover Brooks Daniels at the line of scrimmage. Defensive lineman Kenny King intercepted the ball at the 1 and returned it his 11.

Alabama failed to capitalize on the turnover immediately, being forced to punt after three plays, but it caught another break when Reed, subbing for the injured Davis, muffed the ball. King was on the spot again and recovered for Alabama at LSU's 41.

Seizing the momentum, Alabama went to its trick bag for a reverse pass play out of its option. Antonio Carter got the ball after the toss and threw to Freddie Milons for a 33-yard gain. Two plays later, Watts ran a play-action bootleg to his right and found tight end Terry Jones Jr. open in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown. Thomas' point-after made the score 14-10 with 2:03 to go before the half.

LSU hit the fast forward button on its next drive. Starting at the 12, Toefield gave the Tigers some breathing room with a 16-yard run off the right side. A pass to Clayton from Davey in the shotgun gained 11, and Reed added another 16 with a catch at midfield. Davey then went to his favorite target again, getting the ball to Reed over the middle for a 30-yard pickup.

Penalties stymied the Tigers' drive, as a delay of game and holding call moved them back to the 35. On third-and-17, Davey looked for tight end Robert Royal inside the 5 but chose to overthrow him when he was in the middle of double coverage. Corbello was given a chance at a 44-yard field goal but placed the ball wide left of the uprights.

LSU won the coin toss before the game and chose to defer to the second half. The strategy paid off with the Tigers posting a touchdown after receiving the opening kickoff of the third quarter.

Starting at his own 20, Davey connected on five straight pass plays to get the Tigers down to Alabama's 3. The completions included a 21-yarder to Reed on a play-action rollout and a perfectly placed ball to Corey Webster off another play-action for a 30-yard gain. Right after Webster's catch, Toefield got behind Pierce and fullback Solomon Lee for another 3-yard scoring run. The Tigers owned a 21-10 lead with 12:47 to go in the third quarter.

Alabama answered with a 34-yard Thomas field goal, a score put together with two big plays from Watts. On third-and-4 from LSU's 34, he gained 22 yards after being forced out of the pocket. Two plays later, Watts ran the option left and turned around for a throw to his right, finding Carter for a 22-yard gain.

The Crimson Tide had to settle for three-pointer when Damien James batted away second down a pass intended for Milons and Ray Hudson dropped a pass on third down that would have been enough for a first.

The Tigers seemed destined to put the game away on their next possession, b


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