It wasn’t dominant and it wasn’t pretty, but it was a 2-touchdown win over a top-20 opponent in which the home team was never seriously threatened. Such is life in this series after No. 2 Alabama scored its seventh straight win over No. 19 LSU in a 24-10 final in Tuscaloosa.
The streak, which began after LSU won at Bryant-Denny Stadium in that 9-6 overtime “Game of the Century, has seen Alabama win by an average score of 23-10 in a series that used to be as competitive as any in college football.
Alabama opened the scoring on a 4-yard toss from Jalen Hurts to Irv Smith, Jr., then pushed the lead to 14 on a 9-yard burst by Bo Scarborough. LSU finally dented the scoreboard with a 21-yard Connor Culp field goal with 8:38 to go in the first half, ending LSU’s scoreless streak against the Crimson Tide at 90 minutes and 40 seconds, dating back to the fourth quarter of its 30-16 loss in Tuscaloosa in 2015.
Hurts effectively put the game away for good with a 3-yard rush at the 2:55 mark to go in the third quarter. LSU immediately responded thanks to backup running back Darrel Williams, who broke free for a 54-yard run and then punched in a 2-yard touchdown to pull the Bayou Bengals within 21-10.
But Andy Pappanastos pushed the lead to 14 on Alabama’s next drive with a 40-yard field goal at the 13:25 mark of the fourth quarter, and LSU never threatened again.
Danny Etling hit 12-of-26 passes for 137 yards and an interception that led to Alabama’s second touchdown. He was replaced by Myles Brennan, who completed 3-of-5 throws for 18 yards. Williams led all runners with 83 yards on seven carries, and Derrius Guice added 71 yards on 19 carries. Though the Tigers did lose 34 yards in sacks, LSU (6-3, 3-2 SEC) still managed to out-rush Alabama, 151-119. Hurts led the Tide with 44 yards on 14 carries while hitting 11-of-24 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. LSU also won the first downs battle, 16-14, and possessed the ball for more than eight minutes more than Alabama.
The ho-hum win will either serve as a wake-up call or a warning sign for Alabama as the schedule picks up from here. The Tide (9-0, 6-0 SEC) will visit No. 16 Mississippi State next week before closing with a trip to No. 14 Auburn and, presumably, a date with No. 1 Georgia, who clinched the SEC East on Saturday, in Atlanta.