Alabama Football: 30 Greatest Games in Crimson Tide History

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
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Alabama football
BATON ROUGE, LA – NOVEMBER 03: T.J. Yeldon (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football Greatest Game

November 3, 2012 – Tiger Stadium vs. LSU

LSU was sure it could take down the King of college football in Tiger Stadium. The Tigers had powerful motivation on their side, having been embarrassed in the National Championship game, ten months earlier.

Perhaps what the Bengal Tigers missed was big talk, victory hopes and game plans do not decide the outcome of football games. Execution wins football games and the closest ones are decided by which team makes the most key plays.

LSU took a first-quarter lead on a Drew Alleman field goal. The Crimson Tide answered with two touchdowns on runs by Eddie Lacy and A.J. McCarron.

After a 17-14 LSU second-half lead, Alleman missed a 45-yarder that would have pushed the lead to six. There was 1:34 on the clock with the Crimson Tide starting on its own 28-yard line.

The second half had been awful for the Alabama football offense. The Tide had failed to convert a single third down. It had the ball less than two and half minutes in the closing quarter. At that point,  A.J. McCarron’s last seven passes in the game, six had been incomplete. The one reception gained zero yards.

McCarron then completed three consecutive passes to Kevin Norwood, taking the Tide to the LSU 28. An incompletion to Norwood followed. Then came the play that will live throughout Alabama football history. Freshman running back, T.J. Yeldon had zero pass receptions in college. The Tide called a screen.

What will be remembered is the deft running by Yeldon after the catch. What he did earlier in the play was just as important. LSU brought a blitz. Yeldon had to patiently make a convincing blocking attempt before releasing to the flat. The freshman did it perfectly.

LSU got the ball back with 45 seconds left. Zach Mettenberger completed two passes for a net five yards. The next play was a sack by Damion Square. The Crimson Tide won.

LSU outgained the Tide, 435 yards to 331. The Tigers’ offense had no turnovers. The Crimson Tide lost two fumbles. Had Drew Alleman made his two missed field goals, the outcome might have been different.

The game was the 37th one Les Miles had coached at Tiger Stadium. His teams had won 36 of them. The November 12 win was two straight Tide victories over LSU. No one would have dreamed the streak of Tide wins over LSU would run to eight games.

Final Score – Alabama Crimson Tide 21 – LSU 17