It was billed as the “Game of the Century.” Number one LSU against number two Alabama in the AP ratings. It lived up to its billing as Drew Alleman etched his name into the Tigers fans memories with a 25 yard field goal, leading LSU to a 9-6 win.
Both coaches knew the contest was not only going to have National, but SEC implications also. Both teams were tied for the division lead coming into the game with 5-0 records. LSU coach Les Miles said before the game it would be a “60 minute war.” Finally at 8:14pm EDT, Marquis Maze of the Tide returned the kickoff to open the game.
Alabama’s Trent Richardson, probably the current favorite for the Heisman Trophy, came into this game with a chip on his shoulder. After all it was in last season’s game Richardson was injured and wasn’t the same for the rest of the season. Alabama showed their hand at first with Richardson running for 18 yards on the first play, and lining up wide left for a 22 yard reception.
Alabama seemed to have their way early. The first quarter was hard hitting and physical, no surprise to anyone familiar with these teams. The Tide dominated the time of possession and kept LSU’s offense off the field for most of the quarter. Alabama relied on a steady running attack but kept the LSU defense off balance with timely passing. Still Alabama could not score, missing another field goal late in the first.
Alabama tried two field goal kickers before they found the third one was the charm. DJ Shelley came in with 3:53 left in the first half and finally split the uprights, giving the Tide a 3-0 lead. However that seemed to awaken the LSU offense.
LSU took the kickoff and drove down to the Alabama 2 yard line, where they were stopped with two second left. Miles chased down the field judge for a time out before settling for s 19 yard field goal at halftime. Amazing enough the game was tied, even though Alabama had accumulated over 100 more yards of total offense than the Tigers.
Les Miles went back to Jarrett Lee at quarterback after Jordan Jefferson could do nothing on the first series of the second half. Lee threw his second straight interception of the game and set up Alabama in LSU territory. After LSU held, surprisingly Cade Foster was sent in to kick a 46 yard field goal to give the tide a 6-3 lead with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. It was a surprise because Foster had missed two attempts in the first half.
Alabama, unable to run, went to the pass late in the third and it cost them. AJ McCarron threw an interception and LSU’s Morris Claiborne and took over at the Tide 15 yard line. This was the first break LSU got so far, but the third quarter ended with the Tigers driving. At the beginning of the 4th, LSU kicked their second field goal and tied the game at 6.
With less than 6 minutes left, LSU’s Tyler Mathieu showed what a thug he is and put a damper on a hard hitting but clean played game. During a punt, Mathieu close lined Dre Kirkpatrick on coverage. Most of the game Mathieu seemed to be more interested in trash talking than defensive position. Kirkpatrick was dazed and left the game, while Mathieu should have been ejected, but wasn’t.
What could have been LSU ball at their own 35, the idiotic play was flagged and it moved the Tigers back to the 5. The Tigers moved it out but had to punt with one minute left. Alabama ran out the clock, taking the game into OT.
Alabama received the ball first and looked disoriented. They were hit with a substitution penalty and McCarron was sacked, leaving Saban to try a 52 yard field goal. Foster was wide left and it gave LSU the game.
After Ford appeared to have won the game but stepped out at the 7, LSU ran two plays and sent out Alleman to kick the game winning 25 yarder.
The game lived up to its billing. Afterwards, Miles told CBS he would be “honored to face Alabama again.”
Be careful what you wish for.