As fantastic as Saturday night’s game was (and it was pretty fantastic), LSU statistically dominated Alabama in more ways than you can count. In fact, after sifting through all the numbers of Saturday’s 21-17 victory, I felt like the score should have been 35-10 in favor of the Tigers. But that’s why we watch college football; you can be mediocre for 59 minutes and still win the game in the last minute.
Let’s take a look at the stats that defined this game:
The difference in the number of plays run by LSU and Alabama. LSU ran 88 plays with the ball to 53 by Alabama. This says something about the LSU game plan coming into this matchup. The Tigers felt they had an offense that could compete with the Crimson Tide’s top-ranked defense. They also respected Alabama’s offense, so they wanted to keep AJ McCarron off the field as much as possible.
Despite how ugly Alabama played as an offense Saturday, they only had one penalty against them in this game: a 15-yard pass interference in the first quarter. LSU had seven penalties called against them for 51 yards.
The number of yards gained by LSU on this top-ranked Alabama defense. It was the most yardage given up this season by Alabama, and the most given up to LSU since the 2010 game. In fact, LSU has now had three 400+ yard games against Alabama in the Saban era. The last time Alabama allowed more yards against a team not named LSU? 2007 Arkansas with 450 yards.
The difference in time of possession between LSU and Alabama. LSU had just over 39 minutes in this game, whereas Alabama had just under 21 minutes. Yet another indication that LSU intended to keep the Tide defense on the field and not let AJ McCarron get the ball.
That was AJ McCarron’s completion-to-attempt ratio in the second half, easily his worst start of a half this season. He followed that up with a 4-5 performance in the final game-winning drive with the final pass to TJ Yeldon for 28 yards. His passes without an interception streak is still alive with 289.
The number of all-purpose yards that freshman TJ Yeldon accumulated against LSU. He had 11 carries for 76 yards, an average 6.9 yards per rush. The other 28 came on the reception from AJ McCarron to win the game for the Tide.
The number of passing yards for LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. That number also represents the second-most passing yards by an LSU quarterback against Alabama, right behind Matt Flynn’s 353 yards. It’s also a career high for Mettenberger, who has struggled throughout the season.
Irrelevant Stat of the Night: 93,374
A record crowd of 93,374 was in Tiger Stadium to see LSU and Alabama play, breaking the previous record of 93,129.
Compared to Auburn: 1
If there is one thing Gene Chizik has in his control, it’s the path to the SEC East championship and a spot in the SEC title game. That’s right; Gene Chizik holds a key to the SEC championship and he could give it to Georgia if he loses to then next week. Insert your own joke about Gene Chizik holding keys here.