Alabama won a defensive thriller over LSU. What does it all mean?
Alabama 10, LSU 0: What Does It All Mean?
– That was a grown man college football game. The NFL talent on both sides of the ball was eye-popping, the physical play was impressive, and the intensity was the highest of levels throughout. LSU lost, but it looked the part as one of the best teams in the country, while Alabama passed its toughest and most physical test yet. That was a game that was one burst, one run, one big play from going the other way, however …
– The Alabama defense never, ever missed a tackle. The numbers are easy – LSU came up with just six first downs, 125 yards, and no real scoring chances outside of the Colby Delahoussaye missed field goal. But it’s more than that. Even with the great defensive performance, the Crimson Tide still had to scratch and claw because LSU played so well. It took a nearly-perfect performance from the Bama defense to pull this out, but it also helped that …
– Once again, Jalen Hurts might really be a Heisman candidate in an MVP sort of way. He might have completed 10-of-19 passes for 107 yards with a pick, but when the offense needed him the most, he turned into a tailback who could take off and rumble when needed. He finished with 114 yards and a weaving score that turned out to be the game-winner, coming up with key run after key run as the game wore on. This might not have been an offensive explosion, and the Bama D didn’t help with any points, so it was the freshman quarterback who got it done.
– Leonard Fournette could just never get free. QB Danny Etling couldn’t come up with anything for the passing game to loosen things up, but he was getting hammered all game long and didn’t have much room to breathe. Fournette ran 17 times for 35 yards, and did what he could to hammer away for hard yards, but he was swarmed over on run after run. Just like last year, it wasn’t his fault.
– So, what does it all really mean? This might be the toughest game Alabama plays all season long. Auburn will be tough, and the College Football Playoff will be nasty if the Crimson Tide can get there, but against a rested team that has just as much athleticism and almost as much talent, and doing it in Death Valley, this was it. Now the team can go through the motions to get by Mississippi State and Chattanooga before the Iron Bowl for – almost certainly – the SEC West, and the SEC championship.
LSU might have two losses in the SEC and be out of the conference and playoff hunt, but it needs to close strong if Ed Orgeron has any hope of being the head coach after this season. Everything is easier than Alabama, but at Arkansas, Florida, and at Texas A&M are all still there to deal with. There’s no shame in losing to the Crimson Tide, but there’s work to do just to become bowl eligible.