Alabama vs.LSU

  Date: 11/3/2007  
  Score: 34-41  
  Alabama vs. LSU

TUSCALOOSA – An opportunistic LSU team scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes to rally the third ranked Tigers to a 41-34 win over No. 17 Alabama. LSU (8-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) pulled this out in typical fashion, going down to the wire in their fourth straight game.

Alabama (6-3, 4-2 in the SEC) went ahead on a 61-yard punt return by Javier Arenas with 7:33 left, and the Crimson Tide was in position to clinch it when the Tigers faced fourth-and-four at the Tide 32-yard line. LSU quarterback Matt Flynn tossed a pass over the middle to Early Doucet, who shook away from one defender, faked out another and went all the way to the end zone for the tying score with 2:49 remaining.

Alabama got the ball back, but safety Chad Jones burst up the middle to sack John Parker Wilson and knock the ball away. It rolled along the turf until LSU’s Curtis Taylor fell on it at the Tide 4. Two plays later, Jacob Hester dove over from the 1 with 1:26 left and LSU was still in the national title race.

Saban, who led LSU to a share of the national championship in 2004 before leaving for the NFL, walked to midfield to shake hands with the coach who replaced him. Flynn, whose three first-half interceptions helped Alabama get back in the game from an early 17-3 deficit, drove the Tigers 84 yards in 10 plays for the tying touchdown. Then the touted LSU defense came up with not just a stop, but a turnover.

Wilson completed only 14 of 40 passes for Alabama, but it seemed he threw three touchdowns, connecting with DJ Hall on a 67-yarder and hitting Keith Brown for scores of 29 and 14 yards. Alabama, with two linemen and its top running back suspended over textbook issues, couldn’t muster a running game. The Tide finished with just 20 yards on the ground and were outgained 475-254 overall.

After squandering its two-touchdown lead and falling behind, LSU finally responded with Flynn’s 61-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius Byrd in the final minute of the third quarter. That was just the warm-up for another down-to-the-wire finish.

"We should have won, and I’m really angry right now," Alabama linebacker Darren Mustin said. "I feel like we had that game won, but we just let them take it away from us."

"We don’t play with enough discipline," he said. "It drives me nuts. My hands are bruised from smacking them together when we made mistakes, when we did the wrong things."

After the game ended, Saban lingered on the field to shake hands with his former players.

"I love our players here more. I’m going to work with them every day to try to help them be successful," Saban said. "But I can’t just throw away the feelings I have for those players, the ones I have a relationship with. That just doesn’t go away."