LSU vs. Alabama: 5 Defensive or Special Teams Plays That Won the Game
Defense was the name of the game in LSU's 9-6 overtime win over Alabama Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.
At least, that was the case for the Tigers.
Four miscues in Alabama's kicking game left 12 points on the field, shortcomings that may prove to be the Tide's undoing in its chance at a national title.
Special teams mistakes, two timely interceptions and a crucial sack in overtime would turn momentum over to LSU which capitalized very effectively.
Here are five defensive and special teams plays that won the game for the Tigers.
4th Quarter 11:07, Eric Reid Interception at LSU 1
A little trickeration from Alabama had Marquis Maze lofting a ball Michael Williams early in the forth quarter. But an underthrown pass allowed LSU safety Eric Reid to adjust and simply swiping the ball from Williams as the two fell to the ground.
For a drive that began at the Alabama 25-yard line, following an LSU field goal that brought the game level at 6-6, the Tide's momentum would fall deadly short as the offense would never cross the 50-yard line again until overtime.
If Reid does not strip the ball from Williams, Alabama would have had a first down on the one yard-line.
2nd Quarter 12:46, Bennie Logan Blocks 49-Yard Tide FG Attempt
After Cade Foster missed field goal tries of 44 yards and 50 yards, Alabama turned to Jeremy Shelley for its third attempt, but it yielded the same result.
This time however, Shelley's 49-yard try was blocked by LSU's Bennie Logan, a timely play that kept the game scoreless when Alabama could have had a 9-0 lead.
Although both defenses played extremely close to the chest, special teams miscues by Alabama could be the deciding factors that keep the Tide out of the BCS National Championship Game.
3rd Quarter 1:06, Morris Claiborne Interception at Alabama 48.
Alabama had begun its drive at its own 11-yard line and brought the ball to the 41 after a couple of A.J. McCarron completions to Darius Hanks and Eddie Lacy.
But after an 11-yard pick up for a first down, McCarron was picked off in dramatic fashion by LSU's Morris Claiborne at the Alabama 48 before he returned it 33 yards to the Alabama 15.
The LSU offense did not manage much after that, but the Tigers were close enough for Drew Alleman to convert a 30-yard field goal to bring the game to a 6-6 tie.
OT 3rd and 15, Sam Montgomery Sacks A.J. McCarron
Two miscues in the passing game plus a five-yard illegal substitution penalty against Alabama left the Tide with a 3rd-and-15 at the LSU 30 in the first offensive series in overtime.
LSU's defensive line, most notably defensive tackle Sam Montgomery, got tremendous push from all angles. With good coverage in the secondary, quarterback A.J. McCarron had little place to go before Montgomery forced McCarron to the ground.
An incompletion would have meant a 47-yard field goal attempt instead of a 52-yarder. Though Cade Foster may have missed regardless of distance, the kicker displayed little confidence from that distance.
OT 3rd and Goal, Drew Alleman Makes 25-Yard Field Goal
After Alabama missed its fourth field goal attempt of the game, LSU simply had to take care of the ball and move it into comfortable range for Drew Alleman.
On a 2nd-and-7, Michael Ford scooted into the endzone, but replays showed he stepped out of bounds at the seven-yard line.
The Tigers centered the ball on a 2nd and goal before Alleman split the uprights with his 25-yard chip shot for the win.