Alabama vs.LSU

  Date: 11/7/2009  
  Score: 24-15  
  Alabama vs. LSU

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Julio Jones took a wide receiver screen and broke loose for a 73-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, and No. 3 Alabama locked down No. 9 LSU in a 24-15 victory. Leigh Tiffin booted a 40-yard field goal with 3:04 left to seal the outcome and the Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0 SEC) earned a rematch with Florida for the league championship. The hard-hitting affair left the Tigers (7-2, 4-2) without injured quarterback Jordan Jefferson and running back Charles Scott for much of the second half.

LSU, whose only other loss came to the Gators, took a 15-10 lead into the fourth but managed only 9 yards in the quarter. They had won four straight games at Bryant-Denny Stadium prior to the defeat. Alabama outgained LSU, 452-253, and narrowed the number of SEC national championship contenders to two.

Greg McElroy completed 19 of 34 passes for 276 yards with two touchdowns and an interception as Alabama aired it out 25 times in the first half against a defense that was putting extra defenders

near the line. The second half was more typical of the Alabama offense as running back Mark Ingram gained 106 of his 144 yards after the half to continue to mount a strong campaign for Heisman Trophy consideration. Jones had his best game of the season, with four catches for 102 yards, including his second touchdown.

The Alabama defense came through in the end. Needing two scores, backup quarterback Jarrett Lee and LSU couldn’t reach midfield in the final minutes. Alabama hadn’t left them much time, milking

more than six minutes off the clock in setting up Tiffin’s final kick, made possible when a running into the kicker call led the Crimson Tide to go for it on fourth-and-1 at midfield. Ingram got the first down after taking a direct snap.

Tiffin, who became Alabama’s all-time leading scorer in the game, also had a 20-yarder early in the fourth after a drive that took nearly six minutes. LSU had failed on a two-point try late in the third quarter, trying to push its lead to seven points. Trent Richardson’s two-point run after Jones’ touchdown made it a two-score lead for Alabama at the end.

For LSU, Scott ran for 83 yards and his 34-yarder was the longest rushing play given up by Alabama to that point in the season. Jefferson passed for 114 yards and also had some success running the option. Lee was 4 of 10 for 44 yards with an interception on a fourth-down play at the end, and the Tigers were held to 95 yards rushing.

LSU’s defense held its own through three quarters. Drake Nevis sacked McElroy in the third quarter for a safety, cutting Alabama’s lead to 10-9. LSU fullback Stevan Ridley bounced off a tackle attempt by nose guard Terrance Cody on an eight-yard touchdown run and a 15-10 Tiger lead. Scott’s big run set up the TD, but also ended his day.