BATON ROUGE, La. — It’s not Alabama vs. LSU without a low-scoring, defensive struggle.
The first points of the game didn’t come until the fourth quarter. This is the first game in the FBS this season to enter the fourth quarter tied at 0. It’s fitting as these two SEC powerhouses are known for putting on defensive tilts for the ages.
No. 1 Alabama (9-0, 6-0 SEC) outlasted No. 13 LSU 10-0 on Saturday in front of 102,321 people in Tiger Stadium.
Alabama put together a great drive when it needed one
First, give some credit to LSU’s defense. The Tigers were swarming from the opening snap.
But Alabama’s offense could do much through three quarters.
Late in the third and early fourth quarter, Alabama finally found a little bit of rhythm.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts led the Crimson Tide on a 12-play, 90-yard drive capped by a 21-yard touchdown run from Hurts. Hurts finished the day with 114 rushing yards.
You don’t want to overstate one possession, but that may have been a season-defining drive. Alabama’s defense intercepted a pass on LSU’s next possession, and things picked up for the Tide.
Alabama’s run defense showed up big
Once again, we heard all about how good Leonard Fournette was. And once again, Alabama’s defense stopped him cold. There were no running lanes for Fournette. He has struggled in three career games against the Crimson Tide.
Fournette topped his total of 31 yards from last season, but not by much.
Alabama held Fournette to 35 rushing yards and no touchdowns. This, after Fournette ran for 284 yards (17.8 yards per carry) and 3 touchdowns in LSU’s 38-21 win over Ole Miss two weeks ago.
What it means?
Alabama remains in control of the SEC West race. The Crimson Tide passed one of its two remaining regular season tests. Alabama has Mississippi State and Chattanooga in back-to-back weeks, but neither of those opponents should pose a real challenge.
The next test comes on Nov. 26 in the Iron Bowl. Alabama hosts in-state rival Auburn in a contest that could decide who earns a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game.
Alabama is home for the rest of the regular season. The Crimson Tide hosts Mississippi State next Saturday at Noon ET on ESPN.