Instant analysis: Alabama 38, LSU 17
November, 9, 2013
By Alex Scarborough | ESPN.com
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Not everything went right for Alabama, especially on defense, but the top-ranked Crimson Tide hit their stride late and pulled away from No. 10 LSU in the fourth quarter to win 38-17.
It was over when: When Alabama's offensive line got in its groove, there wasn't a thing LSU could do about it. T.J. Yeldon got the room he needed to operate, and the rest was smooth sailing. Alabama leaned heavily on the running game in the second half to pull away from LSU, punctuated by 10-play, 71-yard drive that ate up 4:41 and put the Tide ahead by two scores.
Game ball goes to: He was a bit of the forgotten man this week, but Yeldon found a way to make his mark against LSU once again. The talented true sophomore showed great patience and vision with the football, finding the hole in the defense again and again. His 133 yards and two touchdowns proved to be the difference for Alabama's offense.
Stat of the game: AJ McCarron struggled some in the early going, but he found his stride after a while. He might not have turned in the Heisman Trophy performance some hoped for, but he was efficient and productive, something he has done his entire career. In fact, he became the team's all-time leader in passing yards on Saturday night, surpassing John Parker Wilson for first place.
Unsung hero of the game: Tana Patrick has spent the majority of his career on the bench for Alabama, a reserve who saw the field primarily when the game was out of hand. But when Bama went to the goal line package against LSU, there he was. His forced fumble early against LSU kept J.C. Copeland from scoring and kept the game from getting out of hand quickly.
What it means for Alabama: The road to the SEC Championship remains unfettered for the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Hurdling the obstacle that is LSU was huge, as it is every year. The Tigers gave Alabama all it could handle, especially on defense, where Zach Mettenberger abused Bama's corners. Now all that remains is another set of Tigers -- this time from Auburn. The Iron Bowl likely will serve as a play-in game for the SEC Championship.
What it means for LSU: Les Miles was playing with house money already, but that didn't negate the sense of loss on the LSU sideline. The Tigers, already with two losses before this weekend, now must fight to get back into a BCS bowl. A Nov. 23 matchup with Texas A&M in Baton Rouge could be the difference between a meaningful postseason game or not.
Halftime Illinois 9 Louisiana Tech 21 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State