Alabama suffered its second loss of the season on the last play of the game, this time at the hands of LSU.
For the first three quarters of the game, there was very little offense with both teams combining for just 23 points, but the fourth quarter and overtime period provided a combined 40 points as the teams traded points back and forth. In overtime, after a 25-yard touchdown run from LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, LSU coach Brian Kelly elected to go for the two-point conversion to win the game, and Daniels completed the conversion with a pass to tight end Mason Taylor, likely crushing the Crimson Tide’s hopes of making the College Football Playoffs.
Here are five takeaways from the game.
It seems the bye week didn’t do much to help solve Alabama’s penalty problem as the Crimson Tide was flagged nine times for 92 yards. On LSU’s first possession of the game, Alabama linebacker Henry To’oTo’o committed a roughing the passer penalty on a third down incompletion that extended the drive. On the next offensive possession for LSU, another discipline penalty was committed by Dallas Turner as he was flagged for a horse collar tackle. Alabama also had issues extending LSU’s drives by committing costly pass interference penalties.
The personal fouls and pass interference penalties continue to haunt the Crimson Tide, and it’s very troubling that nine games into the season these issues have not been cleaned up yet.
Take away a holding penalty by freshman Kendrick Law on a punt that Alabama didn’t even return, and the Alabama special teams unit played about as well as you could ask. Alabama punter James Burnip did a great job flipping the field as he averaged 49.8 yards on his four punts and had a career-long punt of 58 yards. Kicker Will Reichard officially regained his confidence as he accounted for all of Alabama’s points in the first three quarters finishing the game hitting all four of his attempts with the longest being 46 yards. Reichard’s 13 points jumped him over former Alabama kicker Leigh Tiffin for first place on the Alabama career points by kicking list.
Bryce Young continues to struggle getting on the same page as his receivers, and it showed Saturday night when he was only able to complete 25 of his 51 attempts for 328 passing yards. Young had one interception on the night, and it was a costly one. On Alabama’s opening drive, Young drove the Bama offense with ease down to the LSU four-yard line before trying to improvise on a scramble and was picked off in the endzone. Once again, the receivers continue to have a hard time getting separation. Ja’Corey Brooks led the Bama receivers with 97 yards, but half of those yards came on a 41-yard touchdown catch because of broken coverage as the LSU secondary got lost watching Bryce Young doing his best Houdini impersonation scrambling around the pocket.
The Alabama receivers were upstaged by the running back duo of Jahmyr Gibbs and Jase McClellan as they combined for 10 receptions and 134 receiving yards.
The Alabama offensive line continues to struggle to open up running lanes, but despite their lack of consistency Jahmyr Gibbs continues to be explosive. Gibbs carried the ball 15 times for 99 yards. Alabama’s power running back, Roydell Williams only had 11 rushing yards, but punched in two short touchdowns around the goal line, and was great in short-yardage plays when his number was called. Alabama’s running game looked average at best, but Alabama's running backs looked better as they recorded more receiving yards, 143, than rushing yards, 137.
Despite keeping Alabama in the game while the offense was sputtering in the first half, the Alabama defense had an awful performance against LSU. On a positive note, Alabama was able to consistently generate pressure and make LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels uncomfortable the entire night as well as collecting six sacks on the night. The defense accounted for a pair of costly personal foul penalties as well as being flagged for multiple pass interference fouls that extended LSU drives. The defensive line could not contain Jayden Daniels, and the tackling was horrendous, allowing for big, explosive plays.
Alabama’s secondary wasn’t any better. As mentioned earlier they were flagged multiple times for pass interference, but when they weren’t interfering they were allowing big plays in the passing game, including giving up the game-winning two-point conversion.
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