Saturday night’s game between No. 14 LSU and No. 8 Alabama was as advertised. Both teams lit up the scoreboard as expected in a heavyweight bout for control of the SEC West, with Alabama coming out on top 42-28.
Here are some key takeaways from the game.
Jalen Milroe’s Legs
It’s no secret that Jalen Milroe is blessed with the ability to run the ball. On Saturday, he put his talent to use more than he has all season long. Milroe rushed the ball 20 times for 155 yards and four touchdowns. Milroe had designed runs and made good decisions to tuck it and run when receivers were not open. Saturday was the first game that Milroe settled into the quarterback position and balanced his ability to scramble and throw the ball.
Jayden Daniels’ Legs Unstoppable
LSU’s entire offense evolved around Jayden Daniels’ legs Saturday night. Time after time, Daniels made the Alabama defense pay with his legs. Daniels’ night was cut short after leaving in the fourth quarter under concussion protocol. Before leaving the game, Daniels rushed the ball 11 times for 163 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
Third Down Conversions
The difference in the game was who could get the other team’s offense off the field. On Saturday, LSU could not get the Alabama offense off the field. Alabama converted on 11 of their 14 third down attempts, extending scoring drives throughout the game. On the other side of the ball, Alabama’s defense successfully stopped the LSU offense on third down. LSU was limited to converting just four of their nine attempts.
Reichard Not Perfect
Coming into the game, Alabama kicker Will Reichard was perfect on the season. Both times his number was called Saturday for field goals, he missed, ending his perfect streak for the season. Reichard missed field goals from 47 yards and 43 yards, but luckily, the misses didn’t matter. Reichard was perfect on his extra points, hitting all six attempts.
Great Play Calling
Yes, LSU’s defense is below average at best, but Tommy Rees called the best game of his Alabama career. Rees dialed up deep balls at the right moments and implemented designed runs with Milroe that resulted in crucial touchdowns. Finally, Rees has appeared to get comfortable with his quarterback and personnel to dial up a successful game plan for an entire game.
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