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LSU at Alabama score, highlights: No. 2 Tide take care of business, cage Tigers

Alabama will likely still be No. 2 when the new college football rankings are announced this week

  • by Barrett Sallee
  • @BarrettSallee
  • Nov 4, 2017 at 11:47 pm ET • 3 min read

No. 2 Alabama moved one step closer to its fourth straight SEC West title with a 24-10 win over No. 19 LSU Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, handing the Tigers their second SEC loss (and third overall) of the season.

Jalen Hurts threw for one touchdown, rushed for another and the Crimson Tide defense swarmed Tiger quarterbacks Danny Etling and Myles Brennan to the tune of six sacks to secure the win.

What did we learn in the matchup between the two traditional SEC heavyweights?

1. Alabama has the quarterback, LSU does not: If it sounds like a broken record, it’s probably because it’s been said on an annual basis every year since 2012 — Alabama has the quarterback who can make the plays when it counts, and LSU does not. Whether it be scrambling on a broken plays for third-down conversions, finding receivers like Calvin Ridley when the offense needs a spark or making smart decisions not to force passes into tight windows when momentum was at stake, Hurts proved again that he’s the right quarterback for the job for the Crimson Tide.

Etling isn’t that guy. At least, not enough to beat Alabama. He was solid on third downs throughout the game, but in high-pressure situations — especially in the second half — happy feet crept back into forefront. He couldn’t handle the pressure and eventually was benched with five minutes to play down two touchdowns in favor of true freshman Myles Brennan. nThe fact that coach Ed Orgeron made that move at that time speaks volumes. LSU has a game-manager, Alabama has a difference-maker.

Does Hurts have some holes? Sure. His downfield accuracy hasn’t been great at times, but you’ve seen offensive coordinator Brian Daboll add in more passes over the middle over the last three games, which suggests that the confidence is there. Against LSU wasn’t really the time to unleash them though. On the touchdown to Irv Smith to open scoring, he showed nice touch on the run.

Bama strikes first!
Jalen Hurts to Irv Smith Jr. for the @AlabamaFTBL score. pic.twitter.com/jpGzkrrJqR

From an athlete perspective, LSU is as close to Alabama as any other team in the country. From the quarterback perspective, the gap is as wide as the Grand Canyon.

2. The Tide defense is nasty and scary, but also getting a little thin: Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick went out and came back in the game twice, linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton left in the second half with a knee injury and several Tide starters already have missed time this year including end Da’Shawn Hand (MCL). They just keep turning out studs.

Fellow linebacker Rashaan Evans — banged up a little bit as well — was a monster with 10 tackles, Isaiah Buggs made plays in Hand’s spot as he does every single week and true freshman Dylan Moses stepped in for 1.5 sacks, including one late in the fourth to essentially seal it, for the Crimson Tide.

Simply no escaping Dylan Moses. pic.twitter.com/6VdN1BWoU9

Saban said after the game that Hamilton and fellow linebacker Mack Wilson, who injured his foot during the game, are both “probably” out for the year after the game.

Alabama is going to need guys like Buggs, Moses and other ultra-talented players who weren’t supposed to be key contributors to do more of this down the stretch run.

With games against Auburn, potentially Georgia and perhaps the College Football Playoff coming, the experience younger or inexperienced players have received throughout the season will be invaluable. But more injuries could be extremely dangerous to the defensive-minded Crimson Tide.

3. LSU is going to be fine, offensively: There’s hope in Baton Rouge on offense for the first time in a long time. No, not immediate hope. Like I said before, Etling greatly limits what coordinator Matt Canada can do. But the Tigers have a solid foundation with a scheme that stresses defenses east-west with jet sweep motion from wide receivers, opens holes for running backs and exposes mismatches downfield.

It might just take a little more time than expected to see it all come together. It was clear on the Moses sack of Brennan (above) that the true freshman signal-caller isn’t familiar with what to expect from top-tier defenses at this level. But the fact that he was in that spot to begin with shows that the staff has trust in him to throw LSU out of a hole.

Outside of Zach Mettenberger, when has an LSU quarterback earned that trust? JaMarcus Russell? There’s a foundation being laid in Baton Rouge that, when combined with what’s a relatively young defense, should vault them back into SEC West contention in 2018.

CBS Sports was with you the entire game updating this post with live scores, highlights, stats and analysis. If you are unable to view the updates below, please click here .

SOURCE: http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/lsu-at-alabama-score-highlights-no-2-tide-take-care-of-business-cage-tigers/

Written by CIA

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