Published November 09, 2014
Baton Rouge, LA – Baton Rouge, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Despite a late fourth-quarter turnover, Alabama is still alive in the national championship race.
Blake Sims threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to DeAndrew White in overtime to boost the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide to a 20-13 win over No. 14 LSU Saturday night.
T.J. Yeldon fumbled at the Alabama 6 with 1:13 left, and Colby Delahoussaye kicked a 39-yard field goal to give LSU the lead with 50 seconds remaining.
Sims, though, led Alabama down the field with some clutch plays and Adam Griffith's 27-yard field goal with three seconds left forced OT.
The Crimson Tide got the ball first in OT, and White caught Sims' looping pass on the right side of the end zone.
Anthony Jennings then threw four straight incompletions to end the game. The final attempt to the end zone was knocked away to finish the fourth overtime game since 2005 between the foes.
"You've got to have a lot of resiliency when playing in our league," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "I mean, these are good teams that we're playing. I'm really, really proud of the way he played."
The victory for Alabama (8-1, 5-1 SEC) came on a day Auburn lost to Texas A&M. Auburn entered the week No. 3 in the College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings, while Alabama was fifth.
Alabama welcomes No. 1 Mississippi State to Bryant-Denny Stadium next Saturday. Mississippi State (5-0 SEC) is barely ahead of Alabama in the Western Division.
Sims completed 20-of-45 passes for 209 yards with a pair of TDs, and Amari Cooper had eight receptions for 83 yards and a score.
Anthony Jennings connected on 8-of-26 throws for 76 yards with a TD and an interception for LSU (7-3, 3-3), which won its previous three contests.
After being pinned at their 1 following a punt late in the fourth quarter, the Crimson Tide turned the ball over on the second offensive play. Lamar Louis grabbed the ankle of Yeldon. As the Alabama running back was being pulled down and prior to the left knee hitting the ground, the ball popped out of Yeldon's left hand and Kendell Beckwith recovered for LSU at the 6-yard line.
An unsportsmanlike penalty pushed the ball back 15 yards, and Alabama used its three timeouts following three straight runs, which netted minus-one yard prior to Delahoussaye's field goal.
The ensuing kickoff hooked left and went out of bounds, giving Alabama the ball at its 35. Sims navigated the Crimson Tide into field goal range by converting a couple of 3rd-and-4 situations, once with his feet on a 5-yard scramble and another with a 22-yard connection to a diving Christion Jones. That got the ball to the 26, and on the next play White made a 16-yard reception on the right side prior to Griffith tying the game.
Sims hit Brandon Greene for a 24-yard gain on the first play of OT, and after an unsportsmanlike penalty on Alabama pushed the ball back, the Tide were forced to rush for a first down, before White's grab gave the visitors the lead.
Jennings tried to find Malachi Dupre in the end zone on fourth down, but the ball was knocked away in double coverage.
"The DB grabbed my hands," Dupre said. "He didn't hit the ball. He was facing me. Another though thing to swallow, the referee didn't make the call. We lost."
The Tigers struck first thanks to an amazing catch in the end zone by Dupre. The 14-yard pass play to the left side of the end zone was first ruled incomplete, but upon review it was determined Dupre got his right foot down as he cradled the ball with his left hand against his chest before going out of bounds.
Alabama embarked on a 17-play, 70-yard drive that ended on a missed field goal try. Griffith's 27-yard boot clanked off the left upright.
The Crimson Tide then forced a three-and-out, and they tied the game on Cooper's 23-yard reception over the middle. Sims converted a 4th-and-4 with a 9-yard connection to Cooper on the right side, and two plays later Cooper caught a ball over the middle, spun off a would-be tackler and darted to the end zone.
With the TD catch, Cooper became the all-time leader in receiving yards for the Crimson Tide, passing the mark of 2,923 set by DJ Hall (2004-07).
Eddie Jackson's interception led to Griffith's 39-yard field goal with nine seconds left in the second quarter.
Delahoussaye kicked a 35-yard field goal in the third quarter to tie the game.
This was the eighth straight year the teams met when ranked ... LSU plays at Arkansas next Saturday night ... Cooper (183) passed Julio Jones (179) for second-place on Alabama's all-time receptions list. Hall (194) is first ... Alabama leads the series with LSU, 49-25-5, and has won four straight. The biggest win in the series for Alabama was a 21-0 victory in the 2012 BCS Championship Game (2011 season) in New Orleans after LSU had pulled out a 9-6 overtime win during the regular season.