by Deke Bellavia, firstname.lastname@example.org,posted Nov 12 2013 10:35AM
A majority of LSU fans have apparently come to the harsh reality that their beloved Tigers flat out got beat in Alabama.
As we review the phone calls to WWL AM & FM, we find most realize they got a good dose of the truth Saturday. The truth is that LSU just got beat by the better team.
Sure everyone pulling for LSU had hope as the Tigers got off to a decent start in the game versus Alabama, but the same things that have plagued LSU this season once again came back to bite them in the you know what.
LSU squandered, or if you prefer, Alabama stopped LSU from getting points on their first two possessions. On the Tigers first two drives the end result was two turnovers and no points.
More mistakes would doom LSU.
After seemingly stopping the Tide, and forcing Alabama to punt, LSU's Rashard Robinson was flagged for pass interference. That gave the Tide a first down. Instead of getting off the field and giving the ball back to the LSU offense, on the very next play the Tide would cash in and hit the big play for a 52 yard scoring strike from QB A.J. McCarron to O.J. Howard.
LSU's defense did more than expected in the first half of the game as they held the Tide to just 42 yards after the first quarter, and Alabama walked into the locker room with just 193 yards at the break. The Tide, however, still led 17-14.
Then in the second half, the big Crimson machine blew up LSU's defense, and they made it look easy. With 12:01 left to play in the third quarter of the game, the Tigers had to feel pretty good about their position as they were tied with the champs at 17-17. Then just a little over three minutes later, after a timeout, the game changed.
The Tide came out of that timeout and were successful on a fake punt attempt converting on a fourth and 2. So when you look back on it, and remember what I have said all week long, is that Alabama's greatest strength to me is that they do not beat themselves.
That level of play is achieved by constant focus on being disciplined, paying attention to detail and execution. Alabama is the best at it. LSU is not. Alabama would go on to capitalize on that converted fake punt and eventually score a TD later in that very same drive.
In fact, three of the Crimson Tide's four possessions were long, physical beat downs of an LSU defense that was in far over its head. Alabama mounted touchdown drives of 14 plays for 79 yards, 10 plays 71 yards and 8 plays 78 yards. That would be the difference in the game.
Last season LSU did not play four full quarters and lost. In this seasons match-up, the Tigers played as hard as they could; and then the Tide took control. While the Alabama offense was churning like a well oiled machine, the LSU offensive players could not get out of their own way.
After having 232 yards of total offense and 14 points in the first half, LSU was shut down to the tune of 21 plays, 52 yards and three points after that.
Folks there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting beat by the better team. The hardest thing is sometimes to admit that is what took place.
Alabama's team, program, players and coaches are on another level right now. Not only LSU, but the rest of the entire field of NCAA Teams can only hope to once get to that level.
Yes, Alabama is that good. If LSU is their toughest foe this season, which many of the best experts in the game today very well think, then Alabama whipped their stiffest competition.
Now let's focus on the positives for the Tigers.
LSU has three games left this season. The two home games are against Johnny Football and the Aggies, followed by their Turkey Day weekend game against the Hogs from Arkansas. Then there will be a bowl game.
If the Tigers win those three games, they would finish the season 10-3. That 10-3 would feel a lot better than a year ago when LSU was 10-3. Same record but a different feel. LSU needs to finish out this season strong.
But as far as the battle with Alabama, LSU just got beat. It's over, move on. Alabama has!
final score of LSU vs Texas A&M will be 100-99 and I am not sure who the winner will be.
If you want to go 10-3, then you have to coach smarter, even in defeat.
Leaving your starting QB in to get injured with a hopeless score is the height of stupidity. When a team calls time out on 4th and 2 to prevent 4th and 7, you can make book that it is a fake field goal. That was a turning point in the game. Miles got out coached in yet another big game. If you want to finish 10-3, then get your QB out of the game, when it is hopeless, so he is healthy for the stretch run. The way Jarrett Lee was treated makes it no surprise, that Zach Mettenberger was left in the game to get mauled. And to make stupid even more stupid, you do not bench your fullback for the rest of the game for fumbling. You need him in the game to block on running plays or passing plays. When is the poor coaching by a selfish coach, enough?
Insert fake punt for fake field goal
The point is that saving five yards to get a punt inside the 20 was not a concern for Alabama. Obviously, they had a fake punt on the burner.