LSU vs. Alabama: Live Game Grades and Analysis for the Tigers

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LSU vs. Alabama: Live Game Grades and Analysis for the Tigers
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

LSU 17, Alabama 38—Final

The Alabama Crimson Tide proved it was the best team in college football by bullying the LSU Tigers in the second half. 

Here are the game grades for the Tigers. 

LSU Game Grades
Positional Unit 1st-Half Grades Final Grades
Passing Offense B+ B
Run Offense B- C-
Run Defense C+ D+
Pass Defense C+ C
Special Teams B A
Coaching A- A

vs. Alabama Nov. 9, 2013

Passing Offense: Seemingly unemotional and unphased by the bright lights, Zach Mettenberger always plays his best football against elite competition. With Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry winning matchups on the outside, Mettenberger was able to lead the Tigers offense down the field with mostly accurate passing.  The Tide’s stellar pass defense clamped down in the fourth quarter, suffocating Mettenberger and his receivers.

Run Offense: You can’t expect huge yards on the ground against the Tide. It just doesn’t happen often. The Tigers were able to move the ball with mediocre gains by the backs, but the Crimson Tide held their ground in the second half, forcing LSU to drive the ball with Mettenberger’s arm. Jeremy Hill, arguably LSU’s best player, was an afterthought tonight.  

Run Defense: Credit the Tigers’ defensive linemen for stepping up to the challenge. Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson fired off the ball, shook blockers and imposed their will. With that said, the defensive ends and linebackers failed to make an impact, getting muscled around throughout the second half.  

Pass Defense: Craig Loston had his best game of the season. He was a quarterback in the secondary and he prevented long passing plays throughout the game. His efforts were out-matched by an accurate AJ McCarron, who picked apart the secondary and found holes in the zone. LSU’s pass defense was once again a scapegoat.

Special Teams: Christion Jones did not affect the outcome of this game. Tip your hat to LSU’s special teams for that. Beckham made a splash in the return game with an 82-yard kickoff return.

Coaching: You couldn’t ask for a better offensive game plan against the Crimson Tide. Running a well-balanced attack put points on the board for the Tigers. Defensively, the Tigers were in position to make stops, but Alabama executed better. You can’t place any blame on the coaches in this one. No botched decisions. Instead, the Tide simply won the matchups and made less mistakes between the lines. 

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Here were the first half grades and analysis. 

LSU Tigers Game Grades
Positional Unit First-Half Grades Final Grades
Pass Offense B+
Rush Offense B-
Rush Defense C+
Pass Defense C+
Special Teams B
Coaching A-

vs. Alabama Nov. 9, 2013

 

Passing Offense: The Tigers’ biggest advantage in the game is its receivers on the outside, and LSU couldn’t take advantage in the first quarter because of its Pop Warner mistakes. Frustration ensued. When Zach Mettenberger was given time to drop back, he hit Odell Beckham, Kadron Boone, Travin Dural and Jarvis Landry for huge gains. 

Run Offense: To the surprise of everyone, it was Terrence Magee, not Jeremy Hill, who sparked the Tigers running game early on. The Tigers had success pounding it between the tackles, but it was J.C. Copeland’s crucial fumble on the Crimson Tide’s goal line that leads to an average grade. 

Run Defense: The Tigers started off the game soft, getting manhandled on the line. However, the Tigers rebounded well with physical presence inside supplied by Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson. The Tide dominated the second quarter, though, creating holes for Kenyon Drake. 

Pass Defense: AJ McCarron was off in the first quarter, but after Rashard Robinson was called for a holding penalty, McCarron found O.J. Howard for a 52-yard touchdown. The Tigers pass defense proved vulnerable at times against the Alabama QB, but considering their recent defensive woes, the slow start for McCarron is a win for this unit. 

Special Teams: Odell Beckham had a few nice returns, but other than that nothing “special” here. The Tigers did provide great kick coverage in the half without any costly blunders. 

Coaching: The play-calling from Cam Cameron was perfection. With a balanced yet aggressive play-calling scheme, the Tigers worked Alabama with select passing and physical running. The Tigers came ready to play and you have to credit the coaching staff for that. 

For the full box score, check out NCAA.com

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