The last six regular-season meetings between Alabama and Louisiana State before 2013 were decided by a grand total of 32 points.
This year, the Crimson Tide decided to leave no doubt.
T.J. Yeldon rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns and A.J. McCarron threw three toucdown passes as No. 1 Alabama (9-0, 6-0) overwhelmed No. 13 LSU (7-3, 3-3), 38-17, in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night.
Along the way, the Tide sent a message: If you want to win the BCS title, you will have to take it way from us.
Alabama did what championship teams do. It took LSU’s best punches for a couple quarters and then put its foot on its opponent’s throat. A game deadlocked at 17 early in the third quarter turned into a romp, as Alabama went on a 21-0 run to finish it off.
This could be the start of a late run at the Heisman for McCarron, who went 14 of 20 for 179 yards with no turnovers. He’ll have a chance to further burnish his credential when Alabama takes on Auburn and, potentially, the SEC East champ in the conference title game.
LSU will be kicking itself a little come tomorrow, though. The Tigers moved the ball well in the early going, but a J.C. Copeland fumble at the Alabama three squashed one scoring opportunity. An 82-yard kickoff return by Odell Beckham in the fourth quarter that placed LSU at the Bama 18-yard line was squandered after Zach Mettenberger (16/23, 241 yards, 1 TD) threw three-straight incompletions to force a turnover on downs.
The Alabama defense was just too stingy and opportunistic to fall prey to the usual assortment of lucky bounces and bobbles that tend to go Les Miles’ way in games like this.
The Crimson Tide were just the better team. This win shows that, for all the talk of FSU or Ohio State, they are clear favorites to win their third-straight national title.
And, tonight they showed that it’s going to take a herculean effort to stop them.