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By: Scott Crumbly
SEC Digital Network
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 1 Alabama traveled to Death Valley on Saturday night to face No. 5 LSU, and the Crimson Tide escaped in unbelievable fashion with a 21-17 win over the Tigers.
With 1:34 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) missed a field goal to give Alabama possession on their own 28-yard line. With their undefeated season on the line, the Tide quickly moved down the field and into field goal position behind the arm of AJ McCarron. On the fifth play of the drive, Bama caught LSU in a blitz and hit a screen pass on the left side to T.J. Yeldon, who rumbled 28 yards to pay dirt for the game-winning score.
McCarron only finished the game with 165 yards, but 72 of them came on the game-clinching drive in crunch time. Eddie Lacy and Yeldon were productive on the ground for Alabama (9-0, 6-0), combining for 159 yards and one score on 22 carries for the game. Kevin Norwood hauled in five passes for 62 yards from the wide-out spot, but no catch proved larger than Yeldon’s late screen.
Zach Mettenberger played the best game of his career for LSU when they needed it most, throwing for a career-best 298 yards and one touchdown in the losing effort. Jeremy Hill toted the ball 29 times on the game, racking up 107 yards on the vaunted Bama defense that had not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season long. Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham were big for Mettenberger on the outside, grabbing 12 total passes for 149 combined yards on the night, with Landry recording a score.
Alabama was outgained in the win 435 to 331, and the Tigers controlled the ball for nearly 40 minutes of the game. LSU ran 88 offensive plays to Bama’s 53, and the Tide overcame two turnovers.
Passing – Zach Mettenberger, 24-for-35, 298 yards, TD
Rushing – Jeremy Hill, 29 car, 107 yards, TD
Receiving – Jarvis Landry, 8 rec, 76 yards, TD
Passing – AJ McCarron, 14-for-27, 165 yards, TD
Rushing – Eddie Lacy, 11 car, 83 yards, TD
Receiving – Kevin Norwood, 5 rec, 62 yards
• Coming into Saturday’s game at Death Valley, Alabama had a streak of eight straight games in which it scored 30 points or more.
• LSU managed two touchdowns on the Alabama defense after failing to break into the end zone in two games against the Tide last season.
• LSU’s loss was the first suffered in Tiger Stadium since it lost to Florida in 2009, breaking a streak of 22 straight wins.
• Les Miles is now 36-2 in home night games as LSU head coach, and 5-2 when coming off a bye week.