There's really not a whole lot more to be said about the Alabama game. The Tide pretty much kicked our asses every which way a team can kick an ass. You can't complain about luck, injuries, or bad calls. Alabama was simply a better team, and they showed it.
I spent the weekend in Austin to watch one of their many music festivals, but I left early on Saturday to watch the LSU-Bama game. Nothing could make me miss this game, not even Milo.*
*It turned out, from all reports, the Descendents were awesome. So I missed one of my favorite bands to see LSU lose by over 20 points to their hated rival. That's not good decision making.
The game was actually over at halftime, we just didn't know it yet. One of my biggest gripes with the yardage zealots is that looking at yardage in total isolation misses the point. A team needs to turn its yardage advantage into points, or else that advantage in the run of play dissipates. If the scoreboard does not reflect you outplaying the other team, then those yards are essentially wasted. You don't get to store them for later.
At the half on Saturday, LSU had gained 231 yards and Alabama had gained 201. The advantage was even greater in the first quarter, in which LSU outgained Alabama 131-42, despite Bama getting the ball first.
Despite this yardage advantage, LSU trailed 17-14. It's simple as this, when you control territory against a better team, you have to turn it into points. LSU didn't, ending their first two drives with a fumble. And that was pretty much the ballgame, as Alabama would not have an unsuccessful drive after the first quarter.
Just look at the discrepancy. First quarter drives:
6 plays, 30 yards (punt)
3 plays, 9 yards (punt)
4 plays, 3 yards (FG)
That's 42 yards off of 13 plays. That's not very good, and at that rate, Alabama was probably going to lose the game without a dramatic turnaround. So I present to you the dramatic turnaround, leaving off the two drives at the end of halves when Bama simply kneeled on the ball:
4 plays, 78 yards (TD)
10 plays, 80 yards (TD)
14 plays, 79 yards (TD)
10 plays, 71 yards (TD)
8 plays, 78 yards (TD)
Yeah, that's five consecutive drives that all started at about Alabama's own 20 yard line and all ended in a touchdown. That means Alabama dominated the scoreboard without the benefit of having decent field position. They got the ball deep in their own end and methodically crammed the ball down our throats.
Then they did it four more times.
For an LSU defense, that's unheard of. The defense was simply overwhelmed. And let's be honest, outside of one fake punt, LSU was never really all that close to stopping any of these drives. If the field had been 500 yards long, Bama probably would have kept getting first downs until they scored.
Our defense was just a helpless victim.
The offense didn't help matters all that much, but they didn't get much of a chance. After an opening field goal to the second half, LSU's offense only touched the ball three more times, each situation increasingly desperate. It wasn't just the score that kept getting worse, but they rapidly ran out of time. Before you could blink, it was midway through the fourth.
LSU had one decent rive that stalled out after that field goal, and by the time Mettenberger got the ball back, we were down 14 with 10:31 left to play. That's just amazing. Bama choked the life out of our team.
For years, we've been a great defense and a ball control offense. It's been a brutally effective strategy. Last weekend, we saw just how brutal firsthand.
At least this game didn't cause me to miss Black Flag.