Associated Press

Alabama leading at half, but LSU hanging around

If a 14-3 halftime deficit counts as a competitive game for Alabama these days, then LSU is being competitive at the midpoint in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama opened the scoring with a 9-play, 90-yard touchdown drive that culminated in a 4-yard toss from Jalen Hurts to Irv Smith, Jr. A 9-yard Bo Scarborough rush in the first minute of the second quarter pushed the Tide lead to 14.

LSU fought back with a 13-play, 71-yard march that reached the Alabama 4-yard line but ended in a 21-yard Connor Culp field goal. That kick ended a 90-minute, 40-second scoring drought for the Bayou Bengals against Alabama, dating back to the 9:18 mark of the fourth quarter in LSU’s 30-16 loss in Tuscaloosa.

Hurts finished the half hitting 5-of-11 passes for 104 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions while rushing seven times for 20 yards. Scarborough leads the Tide with six carries for 23 yards. Considering Nick Saban was happy to sit on the ball a year ago en route to a 10-0 victory, it’ll be interested to see if he feels threatened enough in the second half to open the offense up or play it close to the chest like last season.

Danny Etling hit 8-of-16 throws for 103 yards and an interception inside his own territory to Ronnie Harrison that led to Alabama’s second touchdown. Derrius Guice led all rushers with nine carries for 36 yards.

LSU will receive to open the second half.