The offense struggled against a fearsome LSU defense for most of the game and Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts looked like a freshman for the first time all year with a pair of turnovers that gave LSU the ball in Tide territory. However, each time the Alabama defense was presented with a challenge, it stepped up in a major way.
LSU intercepted Hurts on the first drive of the game. The Tigers came away without any points after gaining only 1 yard on the ensuing drive and having a 49-yard field goal attempt blocked. When Hurts fumbled on the Alabama 42-yard line late in the third quarter of a 0-0 game, the Tide's defense pushed LSU back 9 yards to force a punt.
In total, LSU's offense could only manage 125 yards against Alabama, including a paltry 33 rushing yards. Alabama's defense did not score a touchdown for the first time in 10 games, but it did force a late interception that allowed the offense to march down for a field goal to ice the victory.
The offense struggled for most of the game but came alive when it needed to late -- led by Hurts and his legs. The Tide's touchdown drive was a 12-play, 90-yard march that was capped off by a 21-yard touchdown run from Hurts on a scramble, but it wasn't the most impressive drive of the game.
That came on the next possession, which followed the interception by Minkah Fitzpatrick. Alabama got the ball on its 43-yard line with 12:32 to play. The Tide marched all the way down the field for a 24-yard field goal in 15 plays, eating 9:51 off the clock and killing the hopes of every LSU player, coach and fan. The dreams of a comeback victory were squashed.
That drive was a vintage Alabama moment under Saban. It was the kind of soul-crushing drive that we had not quite seen this team deliver this season. Alabama has done its damage with the defense. So many times this season we've seen a defensive or special teams score by the Tide be the one that put their lead out of reach, but this time it was the old-school march on the ground that got it done.
Alabama showed us that it can win in any game you want to play. The Tide have proven they can win a shootout, and Saturday night, they showed they can win in a dogfight. Either way you want to do it, they're going to dominate.
The final margin was only 10 points. The game was 0-0 until the fourth quarter. But everyone watching could feel from that opening defensive possession by Alabama that this result was inevitable. And isn't that what Alabama football has felt like since Saban arrived?
Check out updates and highlights from the game below.
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