As I mentioned in my previous post, I was stuck at work as the big game between LSU and Bama kicked off at 8:00 PM Eastern.
I warned everybody not to get in my way when it was time to leave. As I drove home all I could think about was the game. When I bolted through the door hustling to turn on the TV, there were 8 minutes and 52 seconds left in the second quarter. The score was Alabama 10 and LSU 7.
The oddsmakers had Bama as a 14-point favorite with an over/under of 55 total points.
I wasn’t confident that the Tide would win because the oddsmakers favored my guys. I was sure of their determination.
With 5:17 left before the half QB A. J. McCarron threw a 9-yard pass to Kevin Norwood for a TD that gave Alabama a 17-7 lead. With just 43 seconds before the clock ran out LSU’s Mettenberger tossed a 6-yard pass to Travin Dural that netted them a touchdown and the score was Alabama 17, LSU 14.
At the half, I changed into my PJs, fed and watered the dog, made myself a sammich and settled down for the second half. I knew that I was in for a nail-biter.
Three minutes into the third quarter LSU moved the ball down the field, but failed to reach the end zone and settled for a field goal that knotted up the score at 17-17.
I was attempted to worry, but chose to hang in there believing that the Crimson Tide would prevail in this contest.
It was clear from the start that Alabama needed to convert on third downs, something they were struggling with up until Coach Saban called for a fake punt midway through the third quarter and it worked. You could instantly feel the momentum of the game change.
The Alabama offense produced scoring drives of 79, 71 and 78 yards on their first three possessions of the second half, while the defense held LSU to 52 yards, and shut them out after the field goal. Three more TDs followed effectively shutting down the Tigers.
At 4:10 left in the fourth quarter, LSU finally got the ball back. That’s when the old-fashioned beat-down began.
Alabama sacked quarterback Zach Mettenberger four times in a row to take over on downs. Mettenberger, who finished the night 16 of 23 for 241 yards and a touchdown, first crawled and then limped off the field after his final play.
That image of Mettenberger literally pulling his body across the rain-dampened turf was the epitome of the “agony of defeat” and for Tiger fans an undeniable symbol of helplessness to stop the juggernaut known as the Crimson Tide.
Mettenberger limped off the field throwing his helmet down hard on the sideline—a demonstration of his frustration.
Taking over on downs with 1:55 left, QB McCarron simply took a knee to run out the clock and LSU’s hope of stopping Alabama.
I couldn’t have hoped for a better game. LSU is an awesome opponent. I wish them well as they finish out their season.