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LSU Makes Statement Behind Heisman Performance by Joe Burrow, Tigers beat Tide 46-41

By Zack Schlegel

 

Alabama took the ball down the field on their opening drive to set up first and goal. Najee Harris broke off a 31-yard run to get the Tide rolling into LSU territory. However, just as soon as it looked like Alabama would grab an early touchdown lead, Tua Tagovailoa fumbled the ball and LSU’s Ray Thornton recovered.

The play may have been a foreshadowing of what was to come for the Tide, because the rest of the first half was as ugly as an Alabama football game has looked since the National Championship game against Clemson last season. Here is a breakdown of Alabama’s first half drives:

FUMBLE

FUMBLE

PUNT

TURNOVER ON DOWNS

TOUCHDOWN

PUNT

INTERCEPTION

Aside from the one touchdown drive that Alabama put together, their only other score was on a Jaylen Waddle 77-yard punt return for a touchdown.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow continued his Heisman campaign in the first half, going 18-20 passing for 252 yards, 3 TD’s and 0 INT’s. The Tigers’ wide receivers were giving Alabama’s secondary all they could handle. LSU took a 33-13 lead into the half, allowing 14 points in the final 30 seconds before halftime. Nick Saban was anything but pleased…

The 33 points by the Tigers was the most an opponent has scored in a single half against Alabama during Nick Saban’s tenure.

LSU’s offense hit a wall as the second half got going. The Tigers fumbled the ball on their first possession of the second half and proceeded to punt on their next two possessions after that. Alabama finally found some success on offense, capitalizing on LSU’s struggles in the third quarter. The Tide put together a 10 play 95-yard drive to pull within two scores. On their next possession, they once again marched down the field and scored on a Najee Harris 1-yard touchdown run in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

All of the sudden we had a 33-27 football game with 14:33 to play in the game. Joe Burrow and the LSU offense answered back in a big way, putting together a 12 play drive that resulted in a 5-yard touchdown run by Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

This was just the beginning of an electrifying fourth quarter. Alabama and LSU proceeded to go back and forth trading scores all the way to the end.

With 1:37 left on the clock, Clyde Edwards-Helaire once again punched it in for the Tigers, and LSU took a 46-34 lead. The score looked like it would be the final score of the game, but Alabama made quick work with a huge 85-yard touchdown strike from Tua Tagovailoa to DeVonta Smith.

Alabama failed on the ensuing on-side kick and LSU was able to get a first down and run out the clock for the 46-41 win.

Joe Burrow finished the game 31-39, 393 yards, 3 TD’s and 0 INT’s. Clyde Edwards-Helaire put together three touchdowns on the ground and one on the receiving end.

 

CFB Playoff Picture

With LSU’s win over Alabama, and Minnesota’s impressive 31-26 upset over No. 4 Penn St, the playoff picture is going to look a little bit different when the selection committee reveals their CFB Playoff rankings this Tuesday.

The top team in the country Ohio St took care of business against Maryland, 73-14. Ohio St and LSU will once again take the top two spots in the rankings this upcoming week, but who should fill the 3rd and 4th spots in the playoff picture?

With Oregon and Utah idle this week, teams in the top-10 like Georgia and Oklahoma have a chance to make a statement and possibly move up. Georgia is taking on SEC East foe Missouri as this is being written, and depending on how they look in that game, they may jump ahead of Clemson for the time being and get into the top-4. However, it is expected that as long as Clemson wins out, they will be in.

Assuming that Georgia takes care of business against Missouri, it’s most likely that Georgia and Clemson move into the top-4 behind Ohio St and LSU. Whoever gets the No. 3 ranking will depend on how impressive Georgia in their win.

What does this mean for No. 7 Oregon? I believe best case scenario, Oregon will clock in at No. 5. Worst case scenario, Oregon will clock in right where they are at, No. 7. The only way I see Oregon climbing into the top-4 this week would be if Georgia loses to Missouri, and even then it’s a stretch.

Some of the biggest questions are the following:

How far will No. 3 Alabama drop?

How high will No. 17 Minnesota climb now that they have beaten a top-4 team and remain undefeated?

If Oklahoma beats up on Iowa St tonight, will they be considered ahead of Oregon in the eyes of the committee?

After their 3OT win against TCU, where does No. 12 Baylor stand now that they are 9-0?

Overall, there’s still a lot of football to be played and there’s sure to be some shakeups we didn’t expect. Oregon remains in a very good position with the Penn St loss, and as long as they take care of business for the remainder of their regular season schedule and face a one-loss Utah team, they should have as good of a shot as anyone to make it into the playoff field.

If you’re an Oregon fan, you are a big SEC West fan. Georgia is the team to worry about, because if they win out and win the SEC Championship, they are 100% in and we will have a situation where the committee must choose between a one-loss Pac-12 Champion and a one-loss SEC runner-up (assuming Oregon wins out and wins the Pac-12).

 

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