Home Sports-Free College football: Alabama hands LSU first loss

College football: Alabama hands LSU first loss

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After breaking a tie game with a 55-yard field goal just before halftime, Alabama intercepted the first pass of the second half and scored 20-straight points to hand LSU its first loss, 30-16.

LSU (7-1, 4-1 SEC), which dropped from No. 4 to No. 9 in both the AP and coaches’ polls, returns home to face Arkansas on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 6:15 p.m. CT on ESPN. Alabama (8-1, 5-1 SEC) moved up to No. 3 in the AP poll and No. 4 in the coaches’ poll.

After falling behind 10-0, LSU tied the game at 10-10 late in the second quarter on a 40-yard touchdown reception by Travin Dural from quarterback Brandon Harris.

Alabama (8-1, 5-1 SEC) answered with the second-longest field goal in school history just before halftime to take a lead into the lockerroom, and extended its lead to 10 with a touchdown off the interception two minutes into the third quarter.

The Tide ran 79 plays to LSU’s 45, while possessing the ball for 39:27.

Harris led the Tigers with 128 yards passing including the touchdown to Dural, while Leonard Fournette scored a rushing touchdown for the 10th-straight game to pass Charles Alexander’s mark of nine games.

Defensively, LSU linebacker Kendell Beckwith had 11 tackles while safety Jamal Adams had 10.

Alabama’s Jake Coker was 18-of-24 passing for 184 yards. Derrick Henry led the Tide with 210 yards on 38 carries with three touchdowns.

LSU won the coin toss and deferred its decision until the second half. Alabama received the opening kickoff in its north endzone and earned three first downs across midfield to the LSU 40 before the Tigers defense came to life. Two stops by LSU safety Jamal Adams including a tackle of Coker on a fourth-and-1 bootleg gave the Tigers possession at the LSU 31.

A sack of Harris on third-and-7 forced LSU to punt on its first drive. Jamie Keehn’s 56 yard effort was returned 12 yards by Alabama’s Cyrus Jones, as the Tide took over at its 26. Alabama took advantage of an offsides penalty on third-and-10 by getting a six-yard catch by Ridley. However, on third-and-8, Coker’s pass sailed well over Ridley’s head and the Tide punted for the first time.

LSU looked to be in trouble on its first drive, as a tackle for loss and two delay penalties put the Tigers at the 2-yard line for third-and 18. Harris heaved a pass over the top of two defenders and Travin Dural came down with a 37-yard reception.

Though Harris wasn’t able to connect with Fournette on third-and-3, Keehn helped the Tigers flip the field with a 45 yard punt that was fair caught at the Alabama 9.

Despite the long field ahead, Alabama used facemask and pass interference penalties against LSU to march to the 10-yard line. On third-and-goal, Coker’s pass was low and the Tide put the first points on the board with a 22-yard field goal by Adam Griffith. With 11:08 left in the half, Alabama led 3-0.

A kickoff return of only nine yards by Derrius Guice gave LSU possession at its 16. Fournette couldn’t gain any traction on first down and two Harris passes were incomplete. A 40-yard punt by Keehn into a north breeze was fair caught at the Alabama 43.

The Tide needed only three plays – including a 40-yard run by Henry – to extend the lead to 10-0. Henry scored from the 2 with 8:51 left in the half.

Facing its largest deficit of the season, LSU’s offense answered the call. Harris ran for eight yards and added an Alabama facemask behind the play for another 15 to the LSU 48. On third-and-1 from the Alabama 43, Darrel Williams ran for 5 yards. One play after fullback John David Moore went down with an injury, Harris released a long pass just ahead of a corner blitz and hit Dural in stride for a 40-yard touchdown.

Trent Domingue’s PAT finished off the six-play, 75-yard drive, as LSU narrowed the gap to 10-7 with 6:12 to play in the half.

The score lifted the Tigers defense, as senior nickel back Jalen Mills sacked Coker for a 10-yard loss. The quick three-and-out gave LSU possession at its 32 with 3:48 left until halftime.

A 13-yard catch by Dupre and a pass interference call against Alabama on a deep throw toward the LSU wide receiver had LSU at the Alabama 40. Harris again ran up the middle for 14 yards, however, two passes fell incomplete and Domingue entered for a 40-yard field goal that tied the game at 10-10 with 2:22 to play in the second quarter.

After a kickoff out-of-bounds by LSU, Alabama needed only one play to cross midfield. The 19-yard pass from Coker to ArDarius Stewart and a 10-yard run by Henry moved the Tide to the LSU 36. After a 9-yard sack of Coker by defensive end Arden Key, the Tide gained seven yards with a short pass to Mullaney to the LSU 37.

After taking a timeout with 21 seconds left, Alabama elected to try a 55-yard field goal. Griffith’s kick was just inside the left goal post and the Tide took a 13-10 lead with 14 seconds to play. It was the second-longest field goal in Alabama history.

After a short return on the kickoff, the Tigers took a knee and headed to the lockerroom.

LSU received the kickoff to start the second half and took over at its 25 after a touchback. However, the Tide quickly switched momentum when Harris’ pass sailed over the head of tight end Foster Moreau and was intercepted by linebacker Dillon Lee at the LSU 32. Harris’ first interception of the season was returned four yards to the 28.

A middle screen to Drake went for 25 yards to the LSU 3, and Henry scored on third-and-goal from the 1. Alabama led 20-10 with 13:00 left in the third quarter.

Both teams picked up first downs before punting, as LSU defensive tackle Christian LaCouture had a sack and a tackle for loss. However, LSU wasn’t able to muster a first down and punted to Alabama’s 27.

The Tide took control of the game with an 11-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by Henry. With 2:47 remaining in the third quarter, Alabama led 27-10.

Alabama added a 29-yard field goal on its next drive to led 30-10 with 12:45 to play.

After an LSU punt from the Alabama 47, LSU’s Tashawn Bower poked the ball from Henry’s hands and Key recovered for the Tigers at the Tide 22.

Fournette ran 18 yards to the Alabama 4, and LSU was able to reset the downs when Malachi Dupre was interfered with on a fade route to the corner. On second-and-goal from inside the 1, Fournette powered for a score. LSU trailed 30-16 with 9:18 remaining, as A’Shawn Robinson leaped over the line to block Domingue’s PAT.

Alabama started the ensuing drive at its 4 after Drake misjudged the kickoff and the Tide were flagged for an illegal block. As rain began to fall, Alabama worked for three first downs and ran the clock out inside LSU territory.

— Todd Politz, LSU Director of Digital Media

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