LSU vs. Alabama: Winners and Losers in Tigers' 9-6 OT Win
The LSU Tigers football team had an epic 9-6 overtime win over the Alabama Crimson Tide, with players giving winning and losing performances.
Tigers' coach Les Miles and Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban had much to praise and decry.
Both the Tigers and Crimson Tide's defenses held strong to force turnovers and field goals. Both offenses couldn't get anything going.
Without further ado, here are the 12 winners and losers from the epic SEC showdown.
Winner: LSU S Eric Reid
LSU sophomore safety Eric Reid made one of the game's biggest plays.
In the fourth quarter, Alabama senior wide receiver Marques Maize on a gadget play threw to junior tight end Michael Williams.
Williams appeared to have it at LSU's one-yard line, but Reid made a spectacular play by wrestling the ball out of Williams' hands for an interception.
The interception stifled the Crimson Tide's best drive of the game.
Loser: Alabama TE Michael Williams
Alabama junior tight end Michael Williams could have been the hero Saturday against the Tigers.
However, he could not hold onto a 27-yard pass play from senior wide receiver Marques Maize. Tigers sophomore safety Eric Reid ripped the ball out of Williams' hands for a key interception.
Not holding onto the ball cost the Crimson Tide their best drive. Junior running back Trent Richardson and Maize had plays of 24 and 18 yards, respectively.
Williams had one catch for a single yard the entire game.
Winner: LSU DE Sam Montgomery
The LSU Tigers had a stellar performance from Sam Montgomery.
The sophomore defensive end applied constant pressure that helped contain Alabama junior running back Trent Richardson to 89 yards rushing.
Montgomery also had two sacks on Alabama sophomore quarterback A.J. McCarron, including a five-yard overtime sack that pushed the Crimson Tide to a hard 52-yard attempt they eventually missed.
No. 99 has 33 tackles and six sacks in 2011.
Loser: LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu
While LSU's Tyrann Mathieu is a very gifted player, he did not display good sportsmanship during Saturday's game against Alabama.
Mathieu clothes lined Alabama junior cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick late in the game on a punt return. Kirkpatrick was trying to get back to block and Mathieu unleashed the unnecessary hit.
Kirkpatrick left the game and Mathieu should expect possible discipline from the NCAA.
Mathieu was already suspended for the Auburn game for failing a drug test, according to Nola.com
Winner: Alabama S Mark Barron
Alabama senior safety Mark Barron chased LSU senior quarterback Jarrett Lee from the game.
Barron intercepted Lee in the third quarter of a 3-3 game.
The Tigers' coach Les Miles then elected to switch Lee with senior backup Jordan Jefferson for the rest of the game.
Barron had six tackles in the game.
Winner: Alabama Cheerleaders and Dancers
During timeouts and crowd scenes, the Alabama cheerleaders and dancers stole the show.
They looked flawless, and their attractiveness was amplified by their intense support of their Crimson Tide.
Many high school boys probably immediately applied to Alabama, while others—like this writer—regretted their college choice.
Loser: LSU QB Jarrett Lee
LSU's Jarrett Lee had another bad game against the Crimson Tide.
The senior quarterback was three of seven for 24 yards.
Lee threw interceptions to Alabama junior safety Robert Lester and senior safety Mark Barron.
After Barron intercepted Lee in the third quarter, Tigers' coach Les Miles switched to senior backup Jordan Jefferson.
Lee did not reenter the game.
Winner: Alabama RB Trent Richardson
In a game without much offense, Alabama junior running back Trent Richardson provided some excitement.
The Heisman Trophy candidate had 169 yards of total offense, which accounted for over 70 percent of the Crimson Tide's offense.
Richardson also had a 23-yard kick return in the fourth quarter and a 23-yard run on a fourth-quarter drive, which was Alabama's best scoring chance of the game.
Loser: Alabama K Cade Foster
Alabama's Cade Foster had a horrid game. The Crimson Tide's sophomore kicker missed field goals of 44 and 50 yards in the first half.
This made Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban switch to junior kicker Jeremy Shelley, who was one of two.
In overtime, Foster had the opportunity to put Alabama up 9-6, but he missed a 52-yard field goal.
Winner: LSU K Drew Alleman
LSU junior kicker Drew Alleman was all business against the Crimson Tide.
He made all three of his field goals from distances of 30, 25 and 19 yards.
In overtime, Alabama called a time out to try to ice Alleman, but he just smiled and relaxed. He kicked a perfect field goal in the middle that would have gone much farther if the situation required it.
Loser: Alabama Coach Nick Saban
Alabama coach Nick Saban lost an important home game against No.1 LSU.
The Crimson Tide's special teams unit looked grossly ill-prepared. There were three missed field goals and another one was blocked in the second quarter.
In overtime, the Crimson Tide should have run the ball more instead of going for the end zone. Sophomore quarterback A.J. McCarron had two miscues with junior running back Trent Richardson and the offensive line imploded to allow a sack.
For the 52-yard field goal, Saban elected to go with sophomore kicker Cade Foster instead of junior Jeremy Shelley. Foster lacked confidence and appeared down on himself even before the kick.
Winner: Oklahoma State
With the Alabama Crimson Tide losing, expect the Oklahoma State Cowboys to move into the No. 2 spot.
The Cowboys (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) had a big win 52-45 over No. 14 Kansas State and will just have to win out their remaining games to go to the BCS National Championship Game. The biggest game left on the Cowboys' schedule is No. 6 Oklahoma.