Defense Dominates as No. 1 Alabama Football Clinches SEC West Title With 29-0 Shutout Victory at No. 3 LSU
The No. 1 Alabama football team clinched the SEC West with a 29-0 shutout over No. 3 LSU Saturday night at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. With the win, the Crimson Tide secured its spot in the SEC Championship game against No. 6 Georgia on Dec. 1 in Atlanta.
The Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0 SEC) outgained the Tigers (7-2, 4-2 SEC) 576-196, including holding LSU to just 12 yards on the ground.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore defensive lineman Quinnen Williams had himself a day, racking up a career-high 10 tackles (3.5 tackles for loss) and 2.5 sacks. Junior defensive back Savion Smith and sophomore linebacker Dylan Moses each finished with six tackles. Junior linebacker Mack Wilson also had an interception in the win.
Sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ended the night with 344 total yards and three touchdowns. Senior running back Damien Harris was solid on the ground, taking 19 carries for 107 yards and a score. In the receiving game, sophomore Jerry Jeudy led the way with eight catches for 103 yards.
After being kept off the scoreboard on its first possession for the first time this season, the Tide only needed five plays to go 78 yards and score a touchdown on its second drive with Tagovailoa finding sophomore wideout Henry Ruggs III from 15-yards out to get Alabama on the board. The extra point was missed, keeping the score at 6-0 with 4:58 remaining in the first quarter.
The two sides traded punts to end the quarter with Alabama leading 6-0. The Tide outgained the Tigers, 149-38 in the first 15 minutes of the game.
In the second quarter, the Tide methodically drove down the field to add to its lead, using a 15-play, 75-yard drive that took 7:15 off the clock and was capped off by redshirt freshman Joseph Bulovas’ 22-yard field goal. The Tide held the lead 9-0 with just under seven minutes to go in the half.
With just under two minutes to go, Alabama got the ball back at its own 46-yard line. Two plays later, Tagovailoa connected with junior tight end Irv Smith Jr. for a 25-yard score. Following Bulovas’ extra point, the Tide led 16-0 and carried the lead into the halftime break.
The two touchdown passes from Tagovailoa marked the ninth-consecutive game that the sophomore has netted two or more scores in the first half. Alabama increased its edge in total yardage to 325-67, including holding LSU to -1 rushing yards in the first 30 minutes of play.
The two squads traded punts to begin the second half before Alabama setup at its own 28-yard line with 8:11 on the third quarter clock. On third-and-15 the Tide picked up a huge first down with a 16-yard screen pass to Smith Jr. to keep the drive going. Four plays later, Tagovailoa took it himself on a third-and-eight, scampering 44-yards to the house for a career-long touchdown run. The extra point was blocked and the score was 22-0 with 5:14 remaining in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Tide added another touchdown to its total. Alabama used eight plays to go 80 yards, capped off by Harris plowing in from one-yard out. Following Bulovas’ extra point, UA went up 29-0, the eventual final score, with 5:42 left in the game.
The Tide returns home next Saturday, Nov. 10, for an SEC West matchup against No. 18 Mississippi State at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff between the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs is set for 2:30 p.m. CT with the game airing live on CBS.