The LSU Tigers beat the Crimson Tide in their highly anticipated top game in Alabama. Quarterback Joe Burrow’s team won 46-41, ending an eight-game losing streak against Alabama.
The hosts presented themselves surprisingly overwhelmed in the first half, revealed unusual mistakes in their own secondary and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa also acted unluckily a few times. Ed Orgeron’s team pulled away early and went into halftime with a 33:13 lead.
Alabama only really woke up in the second round and temporarily reduced the deficit to just one touchdown in the last quarter. With one minute and 21 seconds left, Tagovailoa hit wide receiver DeVonta Smith with a deep pass that carried 85 yards into the opposing end zone after an LSU score. However, the subsequent onside kick at the score of 41:46 was secured by LSU receiver Justin Jefferson. The Tigers stopped returning the ball.
Burrow dismantled the Saban defense with 31 of 39 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns according to all the rules of the art. The 22-year-old remained without a turnover and ran for 64 yards. After the end of the game, he was carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates.
“He’s one of the best we’ve ever had here,” Orgeron said of his quarterback after the game. “But we still have four games to go. We’ll try to win every game and we’ll try to bring a trophy home.”
Tua Tagovailoa with problems after surgery
Competitor Tagovailoa was struggling with some problems just 20 days after undergoing surgery on his ankle. The original Heisman pick completed 21 of his 40 passes for 418 yards, but also threw an interception and lost a fumble in the first half without opposition. “He said he could play and he wanted to play,” Saban explained afterwards. “I think he was like a warrior today.”
The loss could see Alabama miss the playoffs this year. The Saban team previously played primarily against weak opponents and may now have to rely on slips from other top teams to still be able to secure a place among the best teams in the country.
The course of the game could also have major consequences for the NFL. After his strong performance, Burrow should have finally replaced Tagovailoa as a favorite for the Heisman trophy – and thus also as a favorite for the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft? Chase Young, another contestant, was suspended over the weekend for violating NCAA regulations.