Alabama vs. LSU score, takeaways: No. 10 Tigers, Jayden Daniels roll No. 6 Tide in overtime, shake up SEC
A gutsy two-point conversion call sent LSU over its SEC West rival in Death Valley
No. 10 LSU knocked off No. 6 Alabama, 32-31, in an overtime thriller at Tiger Stadium that saw Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels complete a star-making performance in the extra period. Trailing by a touchdown, Daniels ran for the end zone on his first play in OT, leaving LSU coach Brian Kelly to decide on a do-or-die 2-point conversion that Daniels completed to tight end Mason Taylor on a flare route, ending the game and handing the Crimson Tide their second loss of the season.
It was an uneven, sloppy game for most of the night, but everything turned in the fourth quarter with both teams trading the lead before a 45-yard field goal from Alabama kicker Will Reichard barely cleared the uprights to tie the game and effecitvely force overtime with 21 seconds left.
Alabama struck first after a third-down pass interference gave the Tide renewed life. Running back Roydell Williams scored from 1 yard out to make it a 31-24 game. This gave Bama 17 of 24 points down the stretch as it battled from a 17-15 deficit with 7 minutes left in regulation. That was before Daniels and LSU had a bit of magic left in their pockets with Kelly deciding to let it all ride on the 2-point conversion.
Daniels was excellent for the Tigers finishing with three total touchdowns, 182 yards passing and team-highs of 95 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Though Alabama QB Bryce Young had some bright spots, including a stellar 41-yard touchdown pass to Ja'Corey Brooks late in the fourth quarter that gave the Tide a late lead, he was inconsistent throughout. A swarming LSU defend held him to 25 of 51 passing for 328 yards with that touchdown toss and an interception he threw in the end zone early in the game.
In other words, Young made his fair share of plays, but Daniels and LSU simply made more.
The victory puts LSU in the driver's seat of the SEC West as it now holds a tiebreaker over both Alabama and Ole Miss with all three teams having one loss in league play. While the defeat does not entirely eliminate Bama entirely from the SEC race, it makes a College Football Playoff an unlikelihood for a program that has participated in seven of the eight events to date.
Let's take a look at some more takeaways from LSU's stunning upset of Alabama in Death Valley.
Tide are entirely too dependent on Young
The reigning Heisman winner can only do so much. As Alabama has entered the meat of its SEC schedule, it's proven clearly not enough for the Tide to put their entire offensive game plan on his shoulders. After losing a bevy of talented playmakers to the NFL Draft over the last couple seasons, Bama has struggled to replace them with similarly dominant players in the passing game.
The Tide simply do not have enough players that can stretch the field and pick up chunk plays. Out of Alabama's top four pass catchers on Saturday, only Brooks (97 yards) is a wide receiver. The next wideout, Jermaine Burton, was fifth with two grabs for 19 yards. Bama is asking its running backs and tight ends to do far too much, and while RB Jahmyr Gibbs took 23 combined touches for 163 yards, that's not enough to compete offensively at the level to which the Tide are accustomed.
Bama isn't the same team on the road
This loss probably shouldn't come as a surprise. Sure, Alabama was a 13-point favorite, but anybody who has paid attention to how the Tide have performed on the road all season knew it might not be so easy. There was the 20-19 win over Texas in which Young had to lead a late comeback despite the Longhorns losing starting QB Quinn Ewers in the first half of the game. Then there was the game in which Bama couldn't finish its comeback. It fell behind Tennessee 28-7, and though it made a run and took a lead, it couldn't hold on in a 52-49 loss.
There was the 23-point win over Arkansas, but the Razorbacks just lost at home to Liberty on Saturday, so I'm not sure we should qualify that as a difficult road game this season. It's certainly not harder to win in Fayetteville, Arkansas, than it is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at night. It's enough to make you wonder what might happen next week when Alabama is on the road again against Ole Miss.
Daniels is a difference-maker
Daniels arrived at Arizona State in 2019 with pressure the size of the Grand Canyon. He was billed as the most polished quarterback in his class and earned the starting job as a true freshman. After a strong campaign, he regressed to a point that he was expendable and had to fight and claw to win his job at LSU. He wasn't ready -- at least not right away.
Over the last month, though, he has proven exactly why he had that kind of hype. He has thrown 14 touchdowns and tossed only one interception this year with seven touchdown runs over the last three games. He had the heads of Alabama defenders spinning due in part to deceptive speed that he displayed when LSU needed it most: the first play of the bottom half of overtime to set up the game-winning 2-point conversion.
He was the best quarterback in Death Valley on Saturday. The way Daniels' season is going, the best might be yet to come.
Brian Kelly proved he's the man for the job
LSU's game-tying extra point attempt vs. Florida State in Week 1 was blocked, and all eyes immediately went to Kelly. He wasn't prepared. His team was undisciplined. He wasn't cut out for the SEC.
He changed that narrative in a hurry.
Kelly has developed this offense into a force and kept this team together through some difficult times. Daniels was a mess in that opener and didn't get any help from his offensive line or his side receiving corps -- including supposed superstar Kayshon Boutte. Instead, he developed a more versatile wide receiving corps with Malik Nabers, Jaray Jenkins and Mason Taylor to give Boutte some help as the offense continued to develop. That coincided with the development of Daniels as a legit dual-threat who is incredibly difficult to prepare for. This LSU team has confidence on the ground and through the air, but Kelly fixed the special teams as well. That made a ton of difference on Saturday.
Damian Ramos nailed his only field goal attempt on Saturday, Noah Cain averaged 21 yards on kickoff returns and Jay Bramblett pinned Alabama inside the 20-yard line on three of his six attempts. It was a position game, and LSU came out with the advantage. That is something that seemed impossible a month ago.
That didn't take long! Jayden Daniels scrambles for a 25-yard touchdown run on the first play of the drive! And LSU is going for two!
Roydell Williams scores from a yard out, and Alabama goes up 31-24. LSU will now get the ball at the 25 needing a touchdown to keep this game going.
PASS INTERFERENCE KEEPS ALABAMA'S POSSESSION ALIVE
It looked like the Tide would settle for another FG when Bryce Young's third down pass fell incomplete, but the flag came in late after Sage Ryan got himself a healthy handful of Ja'Corey Brooks. The PI gives Alabama a 1st and goal.
Alabama has to settle for a 45-yard field goal attempt and its.....
GOOD. Bryce Young's pass to Jacorey Brooks on 3rd and 10 is broken up at the last second, but Will Reichard comes to the rescue with his field goal to tie the game 24-24. There are 21 seconds left, and it looks like we've got overtime in our future.
Alabama into LSU territory
The Tigers don't stop after the long run from Daniels, and set up a 1st and goal after a 14-yard run from Josh Williams. On the next play, Jayden Daniels finds Mason Taylor in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown and the Tigers are up 24-21 with 1:47 left. Alabama has two timeouts.
JAYDEN. DANIELS. MAGIC.
Facing a 3rd and 5, Daniels notices man coverage, takes off up the middle, and picks up 31 yards. LSU is down to the Alabama 39 with 4:44 left.
Jayden. Daniels.— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) November 6, 2022
BRYCE. YOUNG. MAGIC.
The Heisman winner scrambles around in the pocket, avoids numerous LSU defenders, leaks out to the right and finds a wide-open Ja'Corey Brooks for a 41-yard touchdown. It's 21-17 Alabama after another failed two-point conversion.
LSU settles for three, but it's enough to take a lead
The Tigers put together a nice 69-yard drive over 11 plays, with the help of a couple Alabama penalties, but stall inside the Alabama 20. Damian Ramos' 32-yard field goal gives them the lead back, but my sense is that a 17-15 lead isn't going to be enough. There's still 6:52 left, and Alabama has had no trouble getting into field goal range tonight.
LSU 14, Alabama 15— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) November 6, 2022
12:37 | 4Q
An LSU penalty gives Alabama life
It looked like LSU had sacked Bryce Young on 3rd and 10, knocking the Tide out of field goal range, and forcing a punt. Instead, a defenive holding call on Jarrick Bernard-Converse -- who picked Young off earlier tonight -- gave Alabama a 1st down inside the red zone. Jahmyr Gibbs then picks up 14 yards to set up 1st and goal and Roydell Williams scores from two yards out a play later. It's Alabama's first touchdown of the night, and it's a 15-14 game after the two-point attempt is incomplete.