These two teams always manage to make the game a heavyweight fight. Both of them enjoy ball control and trying to avoid turnovers to get the win. The games are not normally high scoring, but they are always enjoyable.
The game plan for each team was exceedingly clear. LSU came in looking to pound the ball with Leonard Fournette being their primary back. Alabama was trying to get TJ Yeldon running the ball downhill and get some one-on-one matchups on the outside with Amari Cooper.
LSU would open up the scoring in the opening period, when Freshman receiver Malachi Dupre would score on a 14 yard reception from Anthony Jennings. That was their first pass play on the drive as Fournette had 5 carries for 27 yards on the drive. Alabama looked like they would respond early in the second quarter when Adam Griffith lined up for a field goal to end a 17 play, 70 yard drive, but he hit it off the upright and it was no good.
Alabama did finally score on their next possession, when Amari Cooper would score on a catch and run from 23 yards out from Blake Sims. Sims had just found Cooper on the previous play on the drive to convert a fourth down and four.
Before the half, LSU used some time outs to get the ball with an opportunity to score. But Anthony Jennings threw an interception to Sophomore defensive back Eddie Jackson for the tide, who returned it to the LSU 29 yard line with 1:03 left in the half. Griffith would hit the field goal this time from 39 yards out to give the Crimson Tide a 10-7 lead at the half.
LSU started off the second half feeding Fournette and had a 12 play drive for 57 yards to tie the game up on a Colby Delahoussaye 35 yard field goal. While there wasn't a lot of scoring, LSU was the team able to move the ball the majority of the second half and controlled the possessions and ended up kicking it to Alabama with 1:56 left, and downed the ball at the Alabama 1 yard line. Alabama would not be able to take advantage of the situation though, as TJ Yeldon was injured on a rushing play and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Kendell Beckwith for the Tigers at the 6 yard line.
LSU started the drive with 1:13 on the clock and it seemed apparent they would be able to get the win. But after the first play from scrimmage, Vadal Alexander was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when both teams had players pushing and shoving each other. The 15 yard penalty would push them all the way back to 2nd and goal from the 21 yard line. LSU would run twice and Alabama would use their time outs to stop the clocks. Colby Delahoussaye would make the field goal though, and the Tigers had a 13-10 lead with just 0:50 left in the game.
But LSU would make a critical mistake on the next play, when kicker Trent Domingue would try to squib the kick, but instead it was shanked off his left foot and had only one bounce before it went out of bounds. Alabama would get the ball at their own 35 before starting their drive, and no time even went off the clock. Blake Sims found his receivers when he needed to, most notably Christion Jones to convert a 3rd and 4 from the LSU 41 yard line to get them into field goal position. After a spike they were able to get another completion to DeAndrew White to the LSU 10 yard line, but with only 7 seconds left the Tide decided to kick the field goal and Griffith was good again, this time from just 27 yards out.
This of course sent the game into overtime. The Tigers won the toss and elected to play defense first, which is the smart move for College Football's overtime rules. Alabama decided to use some Lane Kiffin tricks on their first play though, with Brandon Greene, a Sophomore tight end, lining up at left tackle, and lining up an offensive lineman in the slot on the right side of the field. Greene went up the middle and caught the ball at the 10 and got all the way to the 1 before he was tackled. Leon Brown for the Tide had a personal foul penalty though, which would back them up to the 16 yard line. Jalston Fowler converted a 3rd and 1 from the 6 yard line, and then after getting the ball to the 1 yard line again, Leon Brown was called for a false start to move the ball back to the 6. DeAndrew White would get open on a pick play on a fade to the right side and was wide open to give the Tide the lead again, and it was up to their defense to see what would happen.
LSU would struggle on offense, with fullback Melvin Jones dropping the opening pass of the drive because he was turning his head to starting running down the field before catching the ball. This type of mistake just shouldn't happen. Anthony Jennings couldn't find anyone open on the next three plays either, as Alabama was allowed to play quite physical with the Tiger receivers on the last few plays of the game. The Crimson Tide have to be happy to walk away with a win considering how close the loss was only a few minutes earlier.
Next week, Alabama will go home to face their toughest opponent to date this season, the #1 Mississippi State Bulldogs. LSU will go back on the road to face the Arkansas Razorbacks, which will be another running battle. The race for the SEC West continues, and Alabama kept themselves with the power to take control with a victory next week.