At the death in Death Valley: No. 6 Alabama falls to No. 10 LSU in overtime


CW / David Gray

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) looks to escape pressure in the Crimson Tide’s 32-31 overtime loss to the No. 10 LSU Tigers on Nov. 5 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Austin Hannon | @austin_hannon1, Sports Editor

BATON ROUGE, La. – For the Alabama Crimson Tide, the chances at a national championship as well as an SEC championship more than likely have now come and gone. The Crimson Tide dropped its second game of the season — and second in three weeks — in its 32-31 overtime loss to the No. 10 LSU Tigers. 

Like many games this season, Alabama had its back against the wall for a large part of the game — something Crimson Tide fans are having to get used to after the years of dominance by head coach Nick Saban and his past teams. 

The Tigers won the game on the final play by a successful two-point conversion in overtime on a pass from Jayden Daniels to Mason Taylor. 

“We hurt ourselves quite a bit in the game, especially early on,” Saban said. “[We] had to settle for lots of field goals. Had way too many penalties — especially penalties that contributed to their ability to drive the ball toward the end of the game. I think everyone needs to check [themselves] and what we need to do individually to improve [their] stock and finish the season the right way, as well as have a goal to win 10 games.” 

“[It’s a] tough loss, but there’s nobody that feels worse about it than the players,” he said. “They work their tail off — they compete their tail off. They just came up a little bit short.” 

The stats won’t completely show it, but quarterback Bryce Young did everything he could to will his team to victory. Young led Alabama on a drive that gave the Crimson Tide the lead with under five minutes to play. And after LSU regained the lead with under two minutes left, Young and the offense marched down the field again to send the game to overtime. On the first possession of extra time, Alabama scored a touchdown to take a 31-24 lead before losing it on the Tigers’ following drive. 

Young finished the game 25-for-51 with 328 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Jahmyr Gibbs touched the ball 23 times, gaining 163 yards. Ja’Corey Brooks caught seven passes for 97 yards and a score. 

“I thought Bryce played a really good game,” Saban said. “[He] made a lot of big plays.” 

The Crimson Tide outgained LSU 465-367, but yards don’t guarantee you the football game. Alabama committed nine more penalties on Saturday night, adding to a historically poor season in terms of discipline for a Saban-coached team. 

“I like this team,” he said. “I think this team is very capable. I think we can play with a little more consistency, and sometimes we beat ourselves too much and it’s kind of hard to overcome.” 

The Crimson Tide made a number of plays on defense throughout the game, but not enough. After holding the Tigers to seven points in the first half, Alabama allowed 25 points in the second half and overtime — including 15 in the fourth quarter. 

The Crimson Tide had six sacks and 11 tackles for loss. 

Daniels was very impressive for LSU. Despite taking all the hits he did, Daniels threw for 182 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 95 yards and a score on the ground. 

“We did a good job of kind of keeping [Daniels] contained in the first half,” Saban said. “He made a couple of significant runs in the second half.”  

“I can’t blame the players,” he said. “I’m responsible for all of this stuff. So, if we didn’t do it right, that’s on me. We’ve got to do a better job of coaching the players so that we can give them a better chance to have success.” 

Scoring in the red zone has been a problem for Alabama this season. On Saturday night, the Crimson Tide entered the red area five times, scoring just 15 points out of the maximum 35. 

Many will critique the coaches and players that make up this year’s team. Will Anderson Jr. isn’t having any of it. 

“Monday through Friday, we work our a– off,” Anderson said. “There’s no bull—- or anything like that. All those guys are locked in. Effort is not the issue. I am super proud of these guys, and I wouldn’t have rather gone to war with [anybody else].” 

It doesn’t get any easier for Alabama, who now must travel to Oxford, Mississippi, and take on the 11th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels. 

For a chance at a berth in the SEC title game Dec. 3, the Crimson Tide will need to win out and have LSU lose to both Arkansas and Texas A&M. 

Kickoff from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is set for Saturday, Nov. 12, at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS. 

“We all have a chance. We have a legacy that we want to uphold in terms of the pride that we have in our performance, as well as what our expectations are,” Saban said. “There’s nobody that benefits from not getting better. Nobody benefits from not playing well. These guys care about this team. When you play in a game like this, all you’ve got is the guys you’ve got. But that’s all you really need if you do things together and you do it the right way.” 

“[We need to] make sure that everybody has two feet in and make sure that they keep Alabama football the main thing while they are here,” Anderson said. 

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]