Quarterback Joe Burrow put on a Heisman show, passing for 393 yards, in leading No. 2 LSU to a 46-41 victory over No. 3 Alabama in an SEC showdown Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Burrow completed 31 of 39 passes with three touchdowns, and he made two crucial third-down runs to keep alive a pair of fourth-quarter scoring drives after the Tide had cut a 20-point deficit to 33-27.
Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa played despite his gimpy ankle and rallied the Tide to within five points with an 85-yard pass to receiver DeVonta Smith with 1:21 left in the game. Smith earlier had a 65-yard touchdown reception.
LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson recovered Alabama’s onside kick attempt, however, and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire clinched the game with a 12-yard run on first down as LSU went on to run out the clock.
The win puts the Tigers (9-0, 5-0 SEC) in the driver’s seat for the SEC West title. The loss snapped the Tide’s home winning streak at 31 games.
The Tigers delivered a stunning blow to the Tide (8-1, 5-1 SEC) in the closing seconds of the first half.
Edwards-Helaire scored the first of his four touchdowns (three rushing) to give LSU a 26-13 lead with just 26 seconds left in the second quarter, then the Tigers got the ball back at Alabama’s 13-yard line on linebacker Patrick Queen’s interception. Burrow passed to Edwards-Helaire in the end zone to make it 33-13 at the break.
But Alabama’s troubles started much earlier.
Tagovailoa lost a fumble inside the LSU 10-yard line on the Tide’s opening series, punter Ty Perine mishandled a snap giving the Tigers the ball at Bama’s 40-yard line, and a substitution penalty nullified Tide cornerback Trevon Diggs’ interception — all in the first quarter.
The Tide had just 67 yards of offense in the first quarter but trailed only 10-7 thanks to Jaylen Waddle’s 77-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Tagovailoa completed 21 of 40 passes for 418 yards, with four touchdowns and one interceptions. Smith caught seven passes for 213 yards. Alabama’s Najee Harris ran 19 times for 146 yards and a touchdown.
Edwards-Helaire rushed 20 times for 103 yards and caught a team-high nine passes for 77 yards.
The game was played in front of a Bryant-Denny Stadium crowd of 101,821 that included President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)