(Saturday, November 6th)
Final Score: (12) LSU 24, (5) Alabama 21
Baton Rouge, LA (Sports Network) - Stevan Ridley scored the go-ahead touchdown and Josh Jasper booted three field goals to lead 12th-ranked LSU to a 24-21 triumph over fifth-ranked Alabama in an SEC showdown at Tiger Stadium.
Jordan Jefferson went 10-of-13 for 141 yards and a touchdown, while Ridley ran for 88 yards and the score on 24 carries for the Tigers (8-1, 5-1 SEC), who bounced back from their only loss to move into second place, one game behind West Division-leading Auburn, who defeated them two weeks ago.
Jarrett Lee connected on 4-of-7 passes for 67 yards, including a key throw in the fourth quarter to Rueben Randle, who made three catches for 125 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers, who have won nine straight on home soil.
"College football was celebrated today," said an exuberant Miles. "That was two quality football teams slugging, start to finish, hard-nosed, clean, violent, competitive football, and how wonderful was it? I have to say this, Tiger Stadium was never any better than it was today, never any better."
Greg McElroy threw for 223 yards on 21-of-34 efficiency with two touchdowns and an interception for the Crimson Tide (7-2, 4-2), who likely had their hopes of a repeat SEC and national championship dashed.
Mark Ingram amassed 97 yards on 21 rushes, while Julio Jones made 10 receptions for 89 yards and a score for Alabama, which has dropped six of the last eight meetings.
"We did not run the ball consistently enough or effectively enough to stay ahead in the sticks and on the down-and-distance," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "I thought we threw the ball alright but became a little too one- dimensional. They made big plays in sack situations that really changed field position."
Trailing 14-13, LSU forced a three-and-out and took over at its own 23 with 12:10 to go in the game. The Tigers moved 77 yards, all on the ground, on 11 plays to regain the lead.
Facing 4th-and-1 at the Tide 26, Les Miles called timeout and opted against a field goal try. Instead, the Tigers ran a reverse that DeAngelo Peterson took to the three to set up first-and-goal.
Two runs got the ball to the one before Ridley banged in on third down to put the Tigers back on top. Alabama called timeout before LSU went for two and got it when Jefferson rolled right and drilled a pass to Randle to make it a 21-14 game with 8:13 to go.
On the second play on the ensuing possession, Drake Nevis jarred the ball loose from McElroy and it was recovered by Kelvin Sheppard at the Tide 28 with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.
Ridley carried three times for six yards before Jasper came on to knock in a 39-yard field goal to extend the LSU lead to ten with 5:34 left in the game.
Alabama responded with a nine-play, 74-yard march in just over two minutes that was finished off by McElroy's nine-yard scoring strike to Jones that trimmed the lead to 24-21 with 3:23 to go.
Up against a 3rd-and-13 on their next series, Lee connected with Randle on a 47-yard catch and run that was partially negated by a personal foul call at the end of the play that moved the ball back to the Alabama 48.
LSU then punted, leaving the visitors with 86 yards to go in 18 ticks with no timeouts. After two incompletions, Alabama ran the hook-and-lateral but did not reach their own 40 as time expired.
After the teams traded punts on their first possession, Sheppard picked off McElroy on the next 'Bama drive, leading to a 45-yard Jasper field goal.
Alabama bridged the end of the first quarter and start of the second with an 11-play, 81-yard drive to take a 7-3 lead.
Trent Richardson reached the one on a 22-yard jaunt and then was stopped twice for no gain bringing up third down. McElroy rolled right and found Richardson in the flat. The sophomore reached for the goal line as he was being brought down by Patrick Peterson and, just as his arm and ball crossed the plane and hit the ground, the ball popped out forcing an instant replay review, which upheld the touchdown ruling on the field.
Richardson was injured on the play and returned for only one carry early in the fourth quarter. He finished with 28 yards on six carries.
LSU was staring at a 4th-and-1 at its own 40 during its first second half possession and called for a fake punt that was successful, as Jasper ran for 29 yards to the Alabama 31. The drive stalled after an incompletion and Jasper missed wide left from 45 yards out.
After an Alabama punt pinned the Tigers at their own six-yard line, the hosts needed just two plays to regain the lead.
Jefferson connected with Terrence Toliver for 19 yards to the 25 and then hit Randle in stride on a crossing pattern at the LSU 45, as the fleet wideout streaked down the right side line to paydirt with 8:17 remaining in the third quarter. It was Jefferson's first scoring pass since the opening game of the season against North Carolina on September 4.
The Tide responded with a 10-play, 73-yard march to move in front 14-10 with 2:30 to play in the period.
McElroy completed three passes and Ingram carried seven times for 29 yards, including the last five on a pitchout around the left end for the go-ahead TD.
Jasper's 35-yard field goal 44 seconds into the final quarter brought LSU to within one and capped a seven-play, 53-yard series.
LSU is 14-1 following a loss under Miles...The Tigers are 34-6 under their head coach at home and 22-12 against Top-25 opponents under him...LSU is also 43-6 when scoring first and 24-9 in games decided by eight points or less under Miles...LSU has allowed only 26 first quarter points in its last 12 SEC games. Jefferson added 28 yards on the ground on seven tries as part of a 245- yard ground attack...Toliver made three catches for 42 yards...Jasper's three field goals give him 36 for his career, good for a tie for fifth place on the all-time LSU list...Former Tigers All- American running back and head coach Jerry Stovall was honored prior to the game for his upcoming December induction into the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame...Alabama leads the all-time series, 45-24-5 and is 24-7-2 at Tiger Stadium...Jones now has 55 catches on the season and 156 for his career, second most in Alabama history behind D.J. Hall's 194...McElroy's touchdown throw was his 17th of the season, tying him with John Parker Wilson for second most in a single season, trailing only the 18 Wilson threw in 2007...McElroy has 32 career TD passes, three behind Andrew Zow and Mike Shula for third most in Alabama history...Marquis Maze made four catches for 35 yards for the Tide, who are 3-2 under Nick Saban following a bye week...Saturday was just the sixth time in the last 15 meetings that the home team has won...1970, 2007 and 2010 are the only seasons in which LSU has played Auburn and Alabama in back-to-back games in that order...The crowd of 92,969 was the fourth biggest in stadium history.
11/06 23:27:43 ET