Great teams find a way to make halftime adjustments and win football games. Knowing that his team was not playing up to its potential, Alabama head coach Nick Saban told BBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson his team needed to work on running the football and play better in the second half.
Saban and his Crimson Tide did exactly what Saban preached at half time.
After allowing the LSU Tigers to kick a field goal in the third quarter to start the second half, Alabama reeled off 21 straight points, rode the legs of TJ Yeldon and Kenyan Drake and came away with a XX-XX at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The win meant the Crimson Tide would remain atop the polls in both the Associated Press and the BCS for at least one more week. The loss for the Tigers meant there is no chance of winning the SEC West and a potential BCS bowl game.
After exchanging body blows like two prize fighters in the first half of the game, LSU could not find and answer for the Alabama running game and the defense that continued to swarm around Tigers quarterback, Zach Mettenberger. The Tide’s TJ Yeldon ran for 133 yards and two scores on the night as the team as a whole rushed for 195 yards.
The win also sets up nicely for a showdown with FSU in the BCS National Title game, should both teams remain unbeaten. Here is the good, the bad and the ugly from this battle.
The Good: Alabama’s running game
I wanted to see AJ McCarron have that highlight reel moment and game against LSU. This is the best rivalry in the SEC and one of the best in the country. Instead, Saban used a steady does of his runners to keep LSU’s defense off balance and on the field for most of the second half.
McCarron was efficient, completing 14 of 20 passes for 179 yards and three scores on the night. But in terms of collecting Heisman votes, this was not the game that helped him accomplish that.
The Bad: Zach Mettenberger and the Alabama defense
To good things that do not go great together.
In the first half, Mettenberger looked better of the two quarterbacks and the receivers were open more as the Tide secondary did miss assignments.
The second half was another story. As CJ Moseley played a solid game all night, the Alabama defense tightened up and proved it could stop LSU’s receiver speed.
Alabama was also able to control the ball for five more minutes than the LSU offense, which really made the difference in the game. The tide also had 372 of total offense. LSU could only muster 284. The running game was nonexistent for the Tigers.
The Ugly: The Tide Rolls
McCarron and the Tide appear to be a team that cannot be stopped. But honestly, I did not see anything in the game Saturday night that makes me believe either team is that much better than FSU or if they are indeed better than the Noles. Time shall tell all.
Alabama has a match u with Auburn that might be interesting and the SEC title game, probably against Missouri. Let’s see how the Missouri defense handles Alabama.
LSU still has to play Texas A&M – which could be a BCS team when it is all said and done. What I want to see is McCarron in another game like he had with Johnny Manziel earlier in the season. He has played well all season, but has really only had one game that has allowed him to stand out. While he is a solid college quarterback, I think he can be a good NFL player – one who is a manager like Alex Smith without the speed to move the chains.