Dig Baton Rouge

Alabama beats LSU 24-10 in Tuscaloosa

The streak continues.

But folks who took Alabama and the 21.5 points have a lighter wallet than they had before they placed the bet.

Alabama beat LSU 24-10 on Saturday – extending their streak of dominance over the Tigers for another year.

But unlike in years past, the Tigers competed in the loss – especially offensively, outgaining the Crimson Tide 306-299 in the loss and gaining 16 first downs to Alabama’s 14.

The difference in the game was big plays in scoring territory for which Alabama made almost all of them to earn a hard-fought win.

“This was a good win for us,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said after the game. “That’s a good football team. They challenged us. We made enough plays and overcame our mistakes and found a way to win.”

This game didn’t resemble LSU/Alabama games of the past.

For starters, LSU ran the football fairly well – enough to easily outgain the Tide on the ground.

LSU rushed for 151 yards in the loss, more than the 36 carries and 116 yards Alabama earned in the game.

But the difference came in the passing game. Quarterback Danny Etling had open receivers throughout the game, but missed them.

The Tigers pulled Etling late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game, inserting freshman Myles Brennan into the lineup.

With Brennan, the Tigers’ two-minute drive sputtered, but Orgeron said he saw enough from the freshman to believe that he may see more time in the future.

“He’s going to get a chance to be our quarterback,” Orgeron said.

On the other side, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts made throws in scoring territory to set up touchdown drives.

Alabama scored the first points of the game midway through the first quarter on a pass from Hurts to Irv Smith Jr. which made the score 7-0.

After an Etling interception, the Tide took advantage of a short field and scored again early in the second quarter on a short run by Bo Scarbrough to go up 14-0.

But LSU kept battling.

The Tigers got a field goal midway through the second quarter to trim the lead to 14-3, then scored a touchdown late in the third quarter to trim a 21-3 deficit to 21-10.

The Darrel Williams touchdown offset a Hurts touchdown run, which put the Tide up 21-3 just a minute earlier.

In the fourth quarter, Alabama tacked a field goal onto their lead to go up 24-10, but LSU never got closer.

LSU shifted into a more up-tempo offense and continued to move the ball in moderation against Alabama. But for every first down came a missed opportunity, as Etling missed several deep throws to open receivers.

“We’ve got to be able to convert offensively,” Orgeron said. “And stay on the field.”

But defensively, LSU was about as good as they’ve been all season.

The Tigers limited Alabama’s powerful rushing offense to a mere whimper, which forced eight punts and kept the Crimson Tide well below their averages in every major statistic.

“We didn’t back down,” Orgeron said. “We left it out on the field.”

But in the end, it wasn’t enough and the Crimson Tide stayed dominant, improving to 9-0 on the season and 6-0 in SEC play.

Orgeron said he’s proud of LSU’s effort, but said he isn’t going to be patting too many backs or handing out too many participation trophies.

He said he was hired to beat the best teams in the country and the Tigers didn’t do that on Saturday, which he said gives him a sense of disappointment – even if the Tigers did better than most of the naysayers thought they would.

“There are no moral victories,” Orgeron said. “We came here to win a game – to beat Alabama.”

LSU returns to action Saturday at home against Arkansas.

The game has an 11 a.m. kickoff.

Image: Chris Parent / LSU


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