The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0) rattled off their seventh straight win over the No. 19 LSU Tigers (6-3) as they rode a dominant defensive performance to a 24-10 SEC triumph at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday night.
Alabama has allowed 10 points or fewer in five of its last six games, dating back to a 59-0 shutout of the Vanderbilt Commodores on Sept. 23. The lone exception came Oct. 7 when the Tide surrendered 19 points in a road win over the Texas A&M Aggies.
However, the Tide didn't escape the win without suffering a few setbacks.
While the defense stood tall despite the knocks, the offense was once again spearheaded by quarterback Jalen Hurts' steady dual-threat stylings.
Although he didn't light it up against a stout LSU defense that entered the day allowing 20 points per game, Hurts completed 11 of 24 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. His four-yard passing score to Irv Smith Jr. came on a rollout midway through the first quarter, as CBS Sports documented on Twitter:
CBS Sports @CBSSports
Bama strikes first! Jalen Hurts to Irv Smith Jr. for the @AlabamaFTBL score. https://t.co/jpGzkrrJqR2017-11-5 00:31:16
Hurts also contributed 14 rushes for 44 yards and a touchdown, and he has thrown and rushed for a score in the same game six times this season.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Hurts owns the record for most rushing scores by a Crimson Tide quarterback:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Most Rushing TD by QB - Alabama History Jalen Hurts 20 2016-pres Harry Gilmer 19 1944-47 https://t.co/XJADsYJza82017-11-5 03:06:43
As Hurts contributed in all phases, SEC Country's Marq Burnett noted the sophomore silenced some haters:
Marq Burnett @Marq_Burnett
A few fans: Maybe we should put the backup QB in Jalen Hurts: Hold my Gatorade2017-11-5 02:23:59
LSU quarterback Danny Etling had the tall task of contending with the Tide's shutdown secondary, and the numbers reflected as much.
In a game when the Tigers were playing from behind throughout, Etling completed 12 of 26 passes for 137 yards and an interception.
On the bright side, senior wide receiver DJ Chark did his best to make his presence felt with three catches for 53 yards, including a few contested grabs, as Optimum Scouting's Eric Galko observed:
Eric Galko @OptimumScouting
#LSU DJ Chark is probably my favorite WR in the country.Should’ve been in my Mock Finished in traffic, wins on perimeter, great after catch2017-11-5 01:17:04
The Tigers also found some success on the ground as Darrel Williams rumbled his way to 83 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
LSU back Derrius Guice, who throttled Ole Miss for 276 yards his last time out, was silenced and mustered 19 carries for 71 yards.
The Tigers will return to the gridiron Nov. 11 in a get-right spot against an Arkansas Razorbacks squad that barely slipped past Coastal Carolina on Saturday, 39-38.
The Tide will also be back in action next Saturday against the Mississippi State Bulldogs as they attempt to stay undefeated.