As a 15-mile per hour north wind
whipped through the stadium, LSU and
The win improved LSU's record to
8-2 overall and 4-2 in the Southeastern Conference allowing the Tigers to cling
to the slightest of hopes of advancing to the SEC Championship game.
The LSU defense had held opponents
to a slight 215 yards per game entering the contest, but Alabama paid that fact
no mind, gouging the Tigers for 369 total yards, the bulk of that thanks to the
arm of John Parker Wilson who finished with 22 completions on 33 attempts for
291 yards, two touchdowns and a costly interception that cost the Tide a scoring
chance in the third quarter.
But, all of Alabama's offensive urgency didn't make up for LSU's offensive precision as the Tigers scored two touchdowns in the first 7:33 to stake themselves to a mildly comfortable cushion. Quarterback JaMarcus Russell was spectacular and efficient in completing 18-of-21 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns. The Tigers ran the ball well also, compiling 211 rushing yards. Keiland Williams was responsible for 79 yards on just nine carries. Jacob Hester added 64 yards also on nine carries, while Russell contributed 36.
Tiger receiver Early Doucet
followed his excellent performance last weekend at
In all, LSU amassed 418 yards
LSU received the opening kick for
the first time this season and quickly turned the possession into points. The
Tigers expertly and flawlessly eased down the field in five plays capped by a
38-yard touchdown run by Williams who burst through the right side of the
The Crimson Tide responded by moving the ball to the LSU 32-yard line in eight plays. LSU's defense stiffened and allowed the Tide to surge no farther forcing place kicker Jamie Christensen to the field for a 49-yard field goal attempt with a stiff breeze at his back. But, the breeze only helped push the ball wide left and the scoring threat was quelled.
LSU needed just five plays to insert the dagger deeper. Russell dropped back, took three steps up to avoid the Bama rush then found Doucet on a screen pass wide open in the right flat. Doucet raced up the east sideline, broke a tackle at the 5-yard line then skipped into the endzone to give the Tigers a two touchdown advantage with 7:33 remaining in the first quarter.
This time, the
But, Bama's glee evaporated shortly
thereafter as Russell again piloted the Tiger offense straight down the field
with little difficulty. LSU decided to take its time on the drive, making it
last 10 plays and 4:55 in opposition to the first two drives that both lasted
less than 2:00. Tailback Alley Broussard bruised Bama defenders on a 16-yard run
on the drive's ninth play giving Russell a chance to find Bowe in the south
endzone just across the goal line and just out of reach of the
The Crimson Tide appeared ready to
tie the score in the waning seconds of the first half after driving inside the
Tiger 10-yard line with little more than 30 seconds to play after taking control
of the ball at their 36 with 1:21 remaining and moving the ball well into
scoring distance in six plays. But, Tiger cornerback Daniel Francis blitzed and
knocked the ball from
LSU cracked the scoring column first in the second half thanks to Russell's arm and legs. After losing 17 yards on a sack during a flee flicker attempt and facing a 3-19 at his 33-yard line, Russell scrambled out of the pocket for 25 yards, giving LSU a first down at the Alabama 32. Three plays later, Russell kept the ball on an off-tackle run for a first down at the Bama 17, setting up his chance to lob the ball to Hester at the 14-yard line. Hester dashed left and right and hurdled a defender at the two yard line before leaping into the endzone with 7:14 remaining in the third quarter. The nine-play, 78-yard drive extended the LSU lead back to two touchdowns and eased the crowd's trepidation.
Wilson and the Tide bounced right
back as the Bama quarterback connected on passes of 23 and 35 yards during a
seven-play drive that gave Alabama an excellent chance to cut into the LSU lead.
Crimson Tide Coach Mike Shula said the entire game was punctuated by missed scoring chances.
"We come back and just get stopped," Shula said. "We tried to kick a long field goal because it was with the big wind behind us trying to get points on the board. They (LSU) go down and score again and kept moving."
"This team (LSU) is gaining speed," Miles said. "It is going to be a team to reckon with. We scored 28 points in 55 snaps. That's not bad. We'll take that every time."