Strong first half
Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier had 68 seconds to drive the ball 63 yards with a quarterback who was struggling to find any rhythm.
Nussmeier’s combination of runs and short passes maximized the Tide’s efficiency.
After a sack of AJ McCarron left Alabama with just 49 seconds to drive 57 yards, a screen pass to Eddie Lacy netted 19 yards and there was a costly pass interference penalty sandwiched between two short passes to Kevin Norwood. Then, it was a heads-up scramble up the middle by McCarron for the final nine yards that gave Alabama a 14-3 halftime cushion, which was a crucial momentum builder for the Tide heading into the locker room.
Mettenberger stands tall
Alabama’s defensive strategy never seemed to change. The Tigers are a very talented team whose offensive strategy appeared to be to let Zach Mettenberger beat them. And he nearly did.
Time and again, he hit the receivers on short patterns that exposed the Crimson Tide’s soft zone defense. But even after it became obvious that he would continue to throw short-range passes, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart never altered the plan.
And Mettenberger nearly made the Tide pay for it, almost to the point of an upset of the Tide.
2 — Number of turnovers by Alabama freshmen on Saturday night as Cyrus Jones fumbled a punt and T.J. Yeldon dropped a handoff.
5 — Number of times ESPN GameDay has visited the campus of either Alabama or LSU in this series. The home team has lost every contest.
11 — Wins by LSU in 14 games in the last two years against Top 25 teams. Those losses were to Alabama in the BCS Championship Game, earlier this year to 10th-ranked Florida and on Saturday.
22 — Streak of consecutive wins by LSU in Tiger Stadium before it was snapped on Saturday, dating back to a 13-3 loss to top-ranked Florida in 2009.
42 — Fullback J.C. Copeland’s career-long rumble against the Alabama defense after bouncing off Trey DePriest with what appeared to be a short reception on the final play of the third quarter. Copeland never had a rush or reception longer than 16 yards before Saturday.
93,374 — Fans at Tiger Stadium, a stadium record that seems to happen a lot when these two teams get together.