Alabama Football: What’s next after loss to Burrow, LSU in thriller

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

829. Final. 46. 817. 41

No.2 LSU Tigers (9-0) defeated No.3 Alabama football (8-1) 46-41 to seize control of the SEC West and ending the Crimson Tide 31 home game winning streak.

Plain and simple, Alabama football needed to win this hypothetical playoff semifinal. Instead, Alabama had to fight back from a twenty point deficit. Losing at home to the Heisman Trophy winner (Joe Burrow) for the third time (Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel are the others) in nine years ends the Crimson Tide eight-game winning streak against the Tigers.

LSU came to Tuscaloosa on a mission to prove their relevancy in the College Football Playoff race.

Mission accomplished.

The game featured 1,100 yards of total offense and had the hallmarks of a Big 12 shootout.

Heisman front-runner, the masterful Joe Burrow sliced, diced and carved up the Alabama defense for 393 yards passing, three touchdowns plus an additional 64 yards on the ground. Furthermore, the senior quarterback more than lived up to the deafening hype he has garnered all season, completing 31 of 39 passes.

Another player LSU heavily depended on down the stretch, diminutive, bowling ball running back Clyde Edwards-Hillaire rushed for 103 yards, tack on 77 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Receiver Ja’Marr Chase added six catches for 140 yards and one score.

Coming off surgery 20 days ago, a true warrior, Tua appeared rusty in the beginning. The LSU defense rattled Tua early by sending blitzes to test out his newly repaired ankle. As the game wore on, he reminded the nation that he was one of its best quarterbacks.

Dazzling wide receiver Jaylen scored on an electric 77-yard punt return in the first quarter to bring Bryant Denny Stadium to life. Tua Tagovailoa, Najee Harris and Devonta Smith caught fire in the second half, but it was too little too late. Climbing back from a twenty point deficit is difficult for any team, especially against one as offensive-minded as LSU.

Tagaovailoa finished with 418 yards, 4 touchdowns, and one interception. Harris added 190 total yards and two touchdowns, and he carried Alabama in the third quarter with his shifty running and soft hands. Devonta Smith ended the night with 213 yards and two touchdowns.

Uncharacteristic mistakes and LSU third-down conversions doomed Alabama early. The errant fumble by Tua in the red zone, reliable punter Ty Perine bobbling a snap, the LSU score before halftime off of an interception and unsportsmanlike penalty by Landon Dickerson and Joe Burrow’s quarterback run in the fourth quarter on third down and two sealed the Crimson Tide fate.

More from Alabama Football

What’s next for Alabama?

For five years, Alabama football has made every College Football Playoff. The Crimson Tide are now no longer in control of their destiny. The failed second-half comeback will gain favor from the Committee, but the schedule, not winning or playing for a conference championship and the national outcry for other teams and the media will prevent Alabama from seriously entering the conversation.

Is LSU better than Alabama?

Saturday night, LSU was better than the Crimson Tide. The Alabama offense is explosive, as we have known, but injuries have robbed the Tide of its once-dominant, brick wall defense. LSU gained 559 total yards against one of the game’s greatest defensive minds. Until Alabama can regain its defensive superiority, it will not survive against offensive powerhouses like LSU, Clemson and Ohio State.

Next. History and Sizzle in T-Town. dark

Expect Alabama football to rebound next week against Mississippi State in Starkville. Alabama is still in it, lots of football left.