Alabama didn’t turn in a film reel full of highlights against LSU, but these plays made the difference in the 24-10 win.
1. Situation: LSU had first and 10 to start a drive on its own 39 late in the first quarter.
What happened: Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison read the eyes of quarterback Danny Etling and jumped the route of his man to intercept a pass and return it to the 37.
Significance: This gave Alabama excellent field position to start its second touchdown drive of the game. The Crimson Tide eventually scored on a nine-yard touchdown run from Bo Scarbrough. Alabama was facing third and six from the 33 before that run, but Hurts hit Calvin Ridley for 24 yards to keep the drive going.
2. Situation: Alabama was facing 3rd and 11 on its own nine during its second drive of the game.
What happened: Jalen Hurts delivered a pass in the middle of the field to Calvin Ridley for 15 yards and a first down.
Significance: The Crimson Tide had already gone three-and-out on its first drive. Punting from this spot could have given LSU strong field position in a 0-0 game. Instead, Alabama dug its way out of the third-and-long to spark a 90-yard touchdown drive. Alabama took a 7-0 lead on a touchdown pass to Irv Smith Jr. to cap it off.
3. Situation: LSU was trailing 21-3 with first down at its own 44 late in the third quarter.
What happened: Running back Darrel Williams busted through untouched for a 54-yard run before Alabama defensive backs Anthony Averett and Levi Wallace ran him down two yards shy of the end zone.
Significance: Williams punched it in for a touchdown two plays later to cut the lead to 21-10. The Tigers hung around for much of the fourth quarter as a result of this touchdown, but couldn’t capitalize and score again.
4. Situation: Alabama was already in field goal range, but facing second and 10 from the 25 in the third quarter with a 14-3 lead.
What happened: Hurts found Calvin Ridley on a slant, who then spun around and took off. Ridley fought his way inside the five for a 22-yard reception before he was brought down. Alabama scored on a three-yard run from Hurts on the next play to push its lead to 21-3.
Significance: LSU would score on its next drive to cut the lead back to two possessions. Without this touchdown, Alabama would have entered the fourth quarter holding a one-score lead over the Tigers.
5. Situation: LSU was facing third and six and as it approached midfield with just under seven minutes in the game, trailing 24-10.
What happened: Quarterback Danny Etling dropped back to pass only to find his receivers covered up. He tried rolling out to his left to buy some more time as the Alabama defense broke through, but Da’Ron Payne and Dylan Moses wrapped him up for a 12-yard sack.
Significance: That put LSU in fourth and 18 with no choice but to punt. A false start set the Tigers back five more yards. Alabama took over with a two-score lead and 6:22 to play. LSU had another chance, but couldn’t get out of their own territory. Moses ended that drive with a fourth-down sack of quarterback Myles Brennan.