By all accounts LSU shouldn’t have even got off the bus Saturday night.
Down about a dozen starters, bogged down by four losses, and led by an already fired head coach, LSU—a near 30-point underdog—went into Bryant Denny Stadium to take on the second ranked, defending champion Crimson Tide and damn near beat Alabama.
There’s no such thing as a moral victory, but considering the circumstances, and how much fear LSU put into the hearts of Bama fans, there’s nothing but pride to take away from a hard fought loss.
LSU even drew first blood, scoring when Max Johnson hooked up with Brian Thomas Jr. which was set up by a beautiful fake punt.
Working with an unexpected lead, the LSU defense played an inspired game. Going up against the best offense in the SEC, LSU held Alabama to 20 points and 308 yards offense, nearly 200 yards off their per game average. Not only that, LSU held the Tide to a mere six yards on the ground.
But the defense, down so many key pieces at both the defensive line and secondary, couldn’t erase two killer turnovers by the LSU offense: a Max Johnson interception late in the first half, and a Ty Davis-Price fumble to open the second half. Those two turnovers led to 13 Alabama points (of course they missed one of the extra points, it’s Alabama after all).
Still the LSU defense held Bama to six points in the second half, none in the fourth quarter which opened the door for LSU to shock the world. And they damn near did it too but the offense couldn’t make the necessary play.
With 12:36 remaining in the fourth and downn six, LSU drove all the way to the Alabama seven yard line but Orgeron went for it on fourth and goal—much like in the first quarter of the Ole Miss game— instead of sending out Cade York for what surely would’ve been an automatic three points. And just like the Ole Miss game, LSU’s gutsy call wasn’t rewarded with six points.
Undeterred, the LSU defense gave the offense two more chances to win the game. The first came when Cam Lewis stripped Bryce Young and Jaquelin Roy fell on it.
LSU’s offense would do absolutely nothing with that opportunity which meant the defense had to make another stand and they delivered. Max Johnson and company got one final shot but, again, couldn’t make the play that would have shocked the college football world.
But I’d argue regardless of result LSU did it anyway. Y’all LSU is down to basically its JV team and they went into Tuscaloosa and gave the champs all they could handle and then some. They had absolutely no right to beat the spread, let alone the Tide and damn near did it.
They fought like Tigers and I’m proud of that.