Brian Kelly & The Tigers Shock The Nation Amid Two Controversial Calls Against the Tigers to Beat Alabama
The LSU Tigers did what no one believed they could do: beat the Alabama Crimson Tide. LSU defeated Bama in overtime 32-31.
After starting off the season losing to Florida State, the LSU Tigers turned their season around completely. Brian Kelly turned this team into believers of him, and his system and it showed tonight against Alabama. Even though the Tigers had to deal with two questionable calls LSU battled onward and defeated Bama for the first time in Tiger stadium since 2010. Kelly stated, "To come here and restore the pride and tradition of this program just means so much, it just feels so good to return the faith and trust that they've given to me.".
The game started off slow as after 1 the score was still 0-0. Both defenses were zoned in. But the Tigers struck first and the Tide followed with two field goals as after the 2nd second quarter the score was 7-6. In the 3rd LSU outscored Bama 7-3; in the 4th the Tide came back and outscored LSU 15-10 to force overtime. And in overtime LSU outscored Alabama 8-7 as Brian Kelly took a risk and went for two to win the game.
Let's start with LSU's defense because it was incredible. All year long we've known that LSU had a special defensive line and it showed up in bunches tonight against Bryce Young. LSU had two sacks on the night, one by BJ Ojulari and the other by freshman Harold Perkins Jr. LSU also managed to force an interception as Jarrick Benard-Converse picked off Young in the 1st half. LSU managed to keep Young uncomfortable as he had a passing percentage of 49%. Alabama was also terrible on third down going 6-16. The Bama pass protection is what ended up costing them the game.
Offensively LSU played its best game of the season. More specifically Jayden Daniels played his best game of the season as he went 22/32 for 182 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. He also made a difference with his legs as he had 95 yards on the ground and 1 touchdown. Daniels was incredible at controlling the tempo of the game. LSU dominated with the time of possession as they maintained the ball for 31:58 compared to Bama's 27:41. He also scored the two-point conversion to win the game with a pass to Mason Taylor. Brian Kelly took a major chance going for the two-point conversion to win the game. Kelly stated that "I just love the way our guys competed. I didn't want to keep going in overtime, it just felt like it was the right time to try to win the game."
It is known that if you have a dual-threat quarterback then you can beat Alabama. However, the Tigers also got production from their running backs as they had 185 yards on the ground. Josh Williams had 7 carries for 54 yards and 1 touchdown. John Emery also contributed 26 yards on the ground.
This game was a testament as to how Brian Kelly has made a difference as a coach. LSU received two questionable calls against them that in the past would've flustered them and they would've been out of the game. Kelly has come in and changed all of that. He put in a system of checks and balances, holds players accountable, and expects greatness. His team believes in him and he believes in them. After all summer long of fans upset at the hire, it looks like he was the right choice.
This LSU team did what no one thought would happen in June and July. Everyone either thought this was a transition year or that Brian Kelly would fail. Kelly has come in and changed everything for the better. LSU now controls its destiny. If they win out and win the SEC championship they will make the college football playoffs. No one expected Brian Kelly in his first year to take LSU to the college football playoffs. However, anything is possible now and it all rests in the hands of the Tigers.