TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama took on the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny in Tuscaloosa, for the Tide’s first real test of the season.
If the Tide rolled through the season up until now, Saturday the LSU offense stole the momentum.
The anticipated matchup was Tua Tagovailoa’s first start since suffering an ankle injury two weeks ago against Tennessee. And as much as Bama fans would hate to admit it, their quarterback struggled to settle back into play.
Tua fumbled on the opening drive. The turnover gave LSU their first possession of the game and the Tigers put it away with a smooth drive, consisting of 3 plays that crumbled the Alabama man to man coverage. Two passes straight down the middle and a 30-yard touchdown pass from Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase set LSU up for a early lead over The Crimson Tide.
None of this ball game was particularly clean for Alabama. But the first half lacked any poise at all. Penalties, turnovers, dropped passes, a botched snap; all and all it was a lack of synchrony.
The Tigers on the other hand were a well-oiled machine. Joe Burrow finished with a perfect first quarter; 7 for 7 for 100 yards. Well executed and accurate, the LSU QB delivered pass after pass and LSU receivers continued to find extra yards after the catch.
But make no mistake about it, the Alabama defense put their heart on the line. And while it might be hard to imagine a situation where a 20 point deficit at the half is considered “contained”, it would have been much, much worse if not for the Bama defensive efforts.
The Tide saw a few explosive moments in the first half, like Jaylen Waddle’s 77-yard punt return for a touchdown and a sailing 64-yard touchdown pass to Devonte Smith.
But, with limited offensive success, the Tigers had Alabama 33-13 at the half.
LSU’s first half tap dance all over the Tide might have been a shock to the system, but if there was ever a Space Jam locker room pep talk, it happened Saturday night in the Alabama locker room.
The Bama offense exploded in the second half, attempting to make up for lost time; a herculean effort at a quick pace.
Najee Harris racked up 146 yards and the Tide rolled through to find themselves neck and neck with LSU deep in the fourth quarter. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa finished with 4 touchdown passes over Joe Burrow’s 3, and the Tide racked up 418 passing yards to LSU’s 393. But in the end it wasn’t enough.
The LSU Tigers beat the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa 46-41.