The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide continue to impress this season with a 20-14 win over the unranked LSU Tigers on Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium to move to 8-1. It was the team's third straight victory following a 41-38 loss to No. 13 Texas A&M on Oct. 9.
Quarterback Bryce Young had a big night for the Crimson Tide, as did defenders Jalyn Armour-Davis and Will Anderson Jr., who played significant roles in the win.
Bryce Young, QB, ALA: 24/37 for 302 YDS, 2 TD, 0 INT
Max Johnson, QB, LSU: 16/32 for 160 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT
Jameson Williams, WR, ALA: 10 REC for 160 YDS, 1 TD
Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, LSU: 23 CAR for 104 YDS
Alabama Defense, Bryce Young keep Crimson Tide Afloat
Young continued his solid 2021 season in Saturday's win over LSU. However, the Alabama defense was a true difference-maker against the Tigers, forcing two turnovers compared to the Crimson Tide's one.
The Crimson Tide and Tigers would've entered halftime tied 7-7, but Alabama's Jalyn Armour-Davis picked off LSU quarterback Max Johnson with 1:21 remaining in the second quarter. Five plays later, Young connected with John Metchie III for an eight-yard touchdown pass.
The interception was Armour-Davis' third of the season, and the redshirt junior defensive back also had two tackles in the game.
Junior outside linebacker Henry To'o To'o also came up big for Alabama on Saturday, forcing LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price to fumble on the Tigers' opening possession of the third quarter.
The turnover set up Young and the Crimson Tide offense at the Alabama 42-yard line. Young ended up linking with junior wide receiver Jameson Williams for a 58-yard score.
To'oTo'o finished the game with one forced fumble and nine tackles.
Alabama sophomore linebacker Will Anderson Jr. was the Crimson Tide's best defender against LSU, though, recording 1.5 sacks, 12 tackles and three tackles for a loss. He drew praise from many because of his performance:
Tony Tsoukalas @Tony_Tsoukalas
With his four tackles for a loss so far tonight, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Alabama?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Alabama</a> OLB Will Anderson Jr. is currently at 21 on the season. That's the highest total by a Tide player since Wallace Gilberry had 27 during the entire 2007 season. <a href="https://t.co/Rqr2tiIb9R">pic.twitter.com/Rqr2tiIb9R</a>
Alabama entered Saturday's game against LSU with the second-best defense in the SEC, allowing 308.8 yards per game through eight contests.
While the team's passing defense hasn't been great this year, allowing 219.1 passing yards per game, it limited Johnson to just 160 yards on 16-of-32 passing.
Young was also part of the reason Alabama won on Saturday. He heavily outplayed his counterpart, throwing for 302 yards and two touchdowns.
Max Johnson, LSU Offense Unimpressive Despite Keeping Things Competitive
Johnson and the LSU offense opened Saturday's game with an impressive eight-play, 68-yard touchdown drive. However, things went downhill from there.
The Tigers punted on three straight possessions after their opening drive before Johnson tossed his sixth interception of the year.
The LSU offense then opened the second half with a fumble before punting yet again. The fumble was costly, as Alabama scored on the ensuing drive to make it a 20-7 game.
Some took note of the Tigers' struggles on offense against the Crimson Tide:
Shea Dixon @Sheadixon
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LSU?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LSU</a>'s defense played well beyond anyone's anticipation in the first half, which is why the Tigers are only down 14-7.<br><br>The offense? 77 total yards.<br><br>Punter Avery Atkins (26 yards) has more passing yards than quarterback Max Johnson (22 yards).
While the team made an impressive push in the second half cutting the score 20-14 in the third quarter, the team's struggles early, and late inconsistencies, were too costly to overcome.
Safety Cameron Lewis forced a late Young fumble in the fourth quarter, but Johnson and the LSU offense were unable to capitalize on the opportunity, giving the ball back to Alabama with the opportunity to close things out.
The Tigers offense has been one of the worst in the SEC this season. Entering Saturday's game, the team was averaging 382 total yards per game, fourth-worst in the conference.
Alabama will host New Mexico State next weekend at Bryant-Denny Stadium, while LSU will host the Arkansas Razorbacks.