Alabama rolled over LSU in all phases of the game
For those LSU fans who sat through four quarters of football at Alabama, there could only be one word to describe what they saw: sobering.
Here were two teams that were supposedly among the top four in the country. But, what I saw was a widening gap between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers.
Alabama simply had more and better players. And, they were far more physical than
The Alabama defensive front seven stuffed LSU’s best player. Leonard Fournette carried 19 times for a net of 31 yards.
“It wasn’t Leonard (his fault), it was all of us,” said Miles.
Fournette simply had no place to run. He is a dynamic player, but he had no chance to get to the second level and inflict any substantial damage on the Alabama defense.
LSU tackle Vadal Alexander had a different take.
“It is not because they (the Alabama defense) are that good,” said Alexander. “It was self-inflicted. When we got great communication, we blocked them solidly."
Teams that have had success against Alabama often do it by throwing the football. But LSU quarterback Brandon Harris was only 6 of 19 passing for 128 yards.
One of the few places that LSU is better than Alabama is at wide receiver, but Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre had only two catches each.
Defensively, LSU’s lack of size and depth on the defensive line was evident. Alabama ran 79 plays to LSU’s 45.
Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin played to his team’s strength. Behind a talented offensive line, Derrick Henry carried 38 times for 210 yards. Alabama kept the football for 39 minutes, 27 seconds.
The Tide found a way to get extra blockers to the perimeter, and when they did, Henry and Kenyan Drake made LSU defenders pay.
Quarterback Jake Coker played a role that most Alabama quarterbacks play: don’t throw it much, throw it accurately (18 of 24) and don’t turn it over.
Special teams was another area where Alabama was far superior. The Tide’s kickoff coverage held return man Derrius Guice to 43 yards on four returns.
Alabama hs now won five in a row in the series, the longest streak for the Tide against the Tigers since 1981.
Head coach Les Miles was asked about that streak. “There is going to be next year and an opportunity to get them in our stadium,” he said.
The 2015 Tigers have improved much since 2014. LSU entered November as the only unbeaten team in the SEC. But if the Tigers want to win on the first Saturday in November 2016, they will have to recruit, play and coach even better.