Scores

Final

(10) LSU 17

(7-3, 3-3 SEC)

(1) Alabama 38

(9-0, 6-0 SEC)

Coverage: CBS

8:00 PM ET, November 9, 2013

Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL

1 2 3 4 T
#10LSU 0 14 3 017
#1ALA 3 14 7 1438

Top Performers

Passing: A. McCarron (ALA) - 179 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: T. Yeldon (ALA) - 25 CAR, 133 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: J. Landry (LSU) - 5 REC, 90 YDS

AJ McCarron guides No. 1 Alabama to win over No. 13 LSU

Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For the first time in two months, an opponent was standing up to Alabama.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide flashed its overwhelming punching power to knockout No. 13 LSU in Saturday night's 38-17 victory Saturday, scoring the final 21 points in punishing fashion.

AJ McCarron threw three touchdown passes, T.J. Yeldon ran for 133 yards and two scores, and the Tide (9-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) turned to smash-you-in-the-mouth football to take control of a game that was tied early in the third quarter. Yeldon carried 18 times in the second half, 25 overall.

And down went LSU (7-3, 3-3).

"I think we probably played our best half of football," Tide coach Nick Saban said. "We didn't play great in the first half, but man I tell you what, a lot of character out there in the second half."

Yeldon and McCarron had hooked up for the game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute of last season's meeting with the Tigers. This one had no such dramatic finish.

Two-time defending national champion Alabama brushed aside its first challenge since Game 2 against Texas A&M. It was a dominant performance two days after one contender, No. 3 Oregon, fell to another, No. 5 Stanford.

McCarron was a workmanlike 14-of-20 passing for 179 yards, letting Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and their blockers assert control. He did hit speedy freshman tight end O.J. Howard for a 52-yard touchdown and overtook John Parker Wilson to become Alabama's top career passer.

"All he does is win and does what his team needs for him to do," Saban said of his senior quarterback. "I think the guy is the best quarterback in the country."

He didn't need to put up big numbers to improve his career mark to 34-2.

LSU's Zach Mettenberger completed 16 of 23 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown but was also sacked four times.

It was the most points Alabama has scored against LSU since a 41-12 victory in 1947.

LSU had won five of the last six meetings in Tuscaloosa, but lost fumbles on its first two possessions, including one on the goal line. The Tigers, who came in averaging 40.2 points, couldn't regain the lost momentum and managed just 52 yards in the second half and minus-9 in the final quarter.

"You can't turn the ball over," LSU coach Les Miles said. "In the first half it's a 7-to-nothing game and the fullback (J.C. Copeland) runs the ball off left tackle. Then we turn the ball over on the other side of the field. That cost us a terrible start.

"We overcame it but it took time."

Alabama has been so dominant lately, some students began chanting "We Want Bama" in the fourth quarter, mimicking the fans of potential challengers to the reigning champs.

This one, at least, was a contest until Alabama scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Yeldon powered the Tide to a two-touchdown lead with a workhorse drive in the fourth quarter.

He ran six times for 34 yards and had a 13-yard catch before powering it in with 10:31 left to give Alabama a 31-17 lead.

"They came in here thinking that they were going to be more physical than us," Tide defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan said. "I feel like we changed that."

LSU swiftly threatened to get back in the game when Odell Beckham Jr. raced 82 yards on the kickoff return. Alabama held firm and Mettenberger's fourth-and-13 pass to a well-covered Jarvis Landry was off target.

And the Tide fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium could finally breathe.

Alabama's Drake ran for 65 yards on 10 carries. The Tide outgained LSU 372-282, including a 193-43 advantage on the ground in a game both sides typically call one of the most physical of each season.

LSU's playmaking receivers Beckham and Landry turned in some big ones but it wasn't nearly enough. Landry had five catches for 90 yards and Beckham gained 42 yards on three catches.

Alabama limited Jeremy Hill, who came in as the SEC's No. 2 rusher, to 13 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown.

"You could look at the score and think one thing," Mettenberger said. "But if you watched the game you would know that if we didn't turn the ball over and made some smarter decisions in the third and fourth quarters, it would be a ball game."

LSU tied the game at 17 with Colby Delahoussaye's 41-yard field goal to cap the opening drive of the second half.

Then Alabama turned to a fake punt in its own territory. Alabama's Jarrick Williams took a handoff from linebacker C.J. Mosley and ran for a first down on fourth and 2 in Tide territory after calling time out.

The buck-the-odds gamble that is more Les Miles' calling card than Saban's paid off. Yeldon capped a 14-play drive consuming seven minutes, 50 seconds with a 4-yard touchdown for a 24-17 lead.

"We said if they put their defense back in there, we were going to run it," Saban said. "I felt like we didn't want to give them the ball back. We were playing great on defense. I think it was a big play in the game and for our offense to go down and finish that drive, I think it really changed the momentum."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
LSU
ALA
1st Downs1625
Total Yards284372
Passing241179
Rushing43193
Penalties7-734-35
3rd Down Conversions7-125-10
4th Down Conversions0-21-1
Turnovers20
Possession26:0933:51

Passing Leaders

LSUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Mettenberger16/2324110.510
AlabamaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
McCarron14/201799.030

Rushing Leaders

LSUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Hill13423.2113
Magee9313.4013
AlabamaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Yeldon251335.3222
Drake10656.5016

Receiving Leaders

LSURECYDSAVGTDLG
Landry59018.0045
Hill34715.7023
AlabamaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Howard15252.0152
Cooper34615.3021

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERLSUALA
FG03:54Cade Foster 41 Yd 03
SECOND QUARTERLSUALA
TD14:56Jeremy Hill 3 Yd Run (Colby Delahoussaye Kick) 73
TD12:35O.J. Howard 52 Yd Pass From AJ McCarron (Cade Foster Kick) 710
TD05:17Kevin Norwood 9 Yd Pass From AJ McCarron (Cade Foster Kick) 717
TD00:43Travin Dural 6 Yd Pass From Zach Mettenberger (Colby Delahoussaye Kick) 1417
THIRD QUARTERLSUALA
FG12:01Colby Delahoussaye 41 Yd 1717
TD04:11T.J. Yeldon 4 Yd Run (Cade Foster Kick) 1724
FOURTH QUARTERLSUALA
TD10:31T.J. Yeldon 1 Yd Run (Cade Foster Kick) 1731
TD04:10Jalston Fowler 3 Yd Pass From AJ McCarron (Cade Foster Kick) 1738

Research Notes

LSU had 72 yards on designed runs Saturday, the first time this season the Tigers were held to fewer than 100 such yards. Entering Saturday, LSU led the SEC with the most touchdowns on designed runs and, against Alabama, failed to score multiple such touchdowns for the first time in 2013.
  [+]
Zach Mettenberger was 3-of-3 for 89 yards on throws of 15 or more yards in the first half. In the second half, Mettenberger completed 1-of-3 such passes for 22 yards.
AJ McCarron threw for all three of his touchdowns against five-or-more pass rushers Saturday. Entering Saturday, AJ McCarron had an SEC-high 10 pass touchdowns against the blitz.
  [+]
LSU ran for 62 yards on designed runs in the first half Saturday, the most such yards allowed by Alabama in a first half this season since Week 1. In the second half, Alabama had more yards after contact than LSU had total rushing yards on designed runs.
  [+]
T.J. Yeldon ran for 133 yards Saturday, with 100 yards coming on runs inside the tackles. Entering Saturday, LSU had not allowed a team to run for 100 yards inside the tackles in a game this season.
AJ McCarron has multiple Pass TD in 3 straight games for the 1st time in his career.
AJ McCarron has now won 3 of his 4 starts vs LSU (including 1 in a BCS Championship Game), but he only totaled 1 touchdown pass in his first 3 starts against them. He had 3 tonight, completing 70 percent of his passes in the win.
  [+]
Against Alabama, Jeremy Hill averaged 4.0 rushing yards per attempt on runs inside the tackles. Entering Saturday, Hill led all BCS AQ players with 8.3 yards per attempts on such runs (min. 50 rush).
Often considered a power-running team, Alabama has also done damage OUTSIDE the tackles in 2013... In conference play, the Tide leads the SEC in yards per rush and 20-yard rushes on carries to the outside this season... Meanwhile, LSU ranks LAST in the SEC in both of those categories...
  [+]
AJ McCarron threw for 129 yards in the first half Saturday, passing John Parker Wilson for the most career pass yards in Alabama history.
  [+]
A good sign for LSU early in this game even if it defies common sense: In the last two seasons, ROAD SEC teams who are -2 in turnover differential in the 1st quarter of conference games are 3-0! Alabama did just that earlier this season in a win at Kentucky. LSU did it last season at Auburn (also: '12 Texas A&M at Ole Miss).
AJ McCarron's 52-yard touchdown pass to O.J. Howard in the second quarter was his second-longest touchdown pass this season and the sixth longest of his career. His longest this season was a 54-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper on October 26th against Tennessee.
Entering today, Alabama was 67-1 after taking a 14-point lead under Nick Saban... The lone loss came in 2010 vs Auburn (led 24-0, lost 28-27)... The Tide have won 32 straight after leading by at least 14 points since that loss.

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