By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
WATCH LSU-ALABAMA HIGHLIGHTS
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Heading into the epic matchup with No. 2 Alabama, each of No. 1 LSU’s eight wins this year had come by double digits. In fact, dating back to last season, the Tigers had a streak of nine consecutive double-digit victories going.
Consider that streak officially snapped.
On Saturday, neither team even reached double-digit point totals in the Tigers’ 9-6 overtime victory against the Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
And while LSU has excelled with its high-powered scoring offense so far this season, three trips onto the field by junior kicker Drew Alleman proved to be the difference on the scoreboard on Saturday.
From 19 yards: good.
From 30 yards: good.
From 25 yards (in overtime and with the game on the line): also good.
That’s quite an accomplishment for an athlete who had appeared in just three collegiate games prior to the 2011 campaign, none of which were conference contests. Still, Alleman had been the top high school kicker in the state of Louisiana as a prep and earned the Jerry Stovall Special Teams Award for outstanding performance this past spring.
Given LSU’s offensive output this season, it may not have appeared a win in the customary fashion, but Tigers head coach Les Miles said in his postgame press conference Saturday that he his confidence in Alleman and his special teams unit had him feeling pretty good about his team’s chances.
“We spend a lot of time on special teams,” Miles said. “Our guys take pride in it and work on it. I’m pretty confident to send Drew onto the field and get threes. Our punter penned them down in there several times as well. That’s just solid football.”
Miles has reason to be confident in Alleman. The Lafayette, La., native is a semifinalist for the 2011 Lou Groza Award and has now made seven consecutive field goals. Including Saturday’s game, Alleman is 13-of-15 on the season.
Alleman said following Saturday’s game that the confidence Miles has shown in him has been a major factor in his success this season.
“Coach has a bunch of confidence in me,” Alleman said. “In the beginning of the season, he had confidence in me and he still has confidence in me. Just building that confidence throughout the year is what I’ve been doing.”
Sounds like a guy who is always ready to perform when his number is called. There’s no doubt this one should help that confidence.