11.3.18 LSU vs Alabama

The offense huddles together during the Tigers’ 29-0 loss against Alabama on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Tiger Stadium.

LSU fell for the second time this season as it was shut out 29-0 at home to Alabama. 

"I give them credit," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "They are a good team. We got beat at the line of scrimmage. We couldn't block their defensive line. 281 yards rushing for Alabama, 12 yards rushing for us. That's not a very good night."

Though the Tigers were shut out at home for the first time since 2016, a 10-0 loss to Alabama, there were positives, mostly on defense, throughout the game. 

"The most disappointed thing is that you didn't score any points," said LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. 

The Tide had scored on the first drive of every game before tonight, but LSU was able to hold them for at least one drive. 

It seemed Alabama had no trouble as the offense marched upfield easily to begin the game. It started with a 14-yard pass from Tua Tagovailoa to Henry Ruggs. Tagovailoa then hit Jaylen Waddle for a nine-yard gain. 

LSU forced the Tide to a third-and-10, but an illegal substitution penalty cut the needed yardage in half. Tagovailoa completed a 10-yard pass to Irv Smith Jr. for the first down. 

Then the drive stalled. Tagovailoa threw two incompletions before back-to-back false start penalties left Alabama with a third-and-23 as Tagovailoa went down after a Grant Delpit hit. 

Alabama running back Damien Harris ran for a loss of three and forced the Tigers to punt. 

The LSU defense held steady for as long as it could against the powerful Alabama offense, even without team leader Devin White. The Tigers held Alabama to its leads amount of points and total yards all season. Sophomore safety Todd Harris led the team in tackles at 12 and added an interception, after stepping in for senior John Battle, who left the game with an ankle injury. 

"I practice all week so I was already aware of what I had to do," said Harris, who stepped in for an injured Battle. ". It wasn't a big deal. I just went in and did what I had to do and what I was coached to do."

Sophomore Patrick Queen, who stepped in for White in the first half, totaled nine tackles, while White added eight upon his return. Queen admits that he was nervous for the first couple of plays, but the nerves went away soon after when he realized that these are the games why you come to LSU. 

"We saw [of Tua] what we saw on tape," Queen said. "They ran the stuff that we saw and some fresh, new stuff. Some plays we got late and some simple mistakes that we have to correct."

LSU struggled on offense for most of the game, especially on third downs, and had nine total punts. The Tigers for 5-of-16 on third down conversions and only had 12 total yards rushing. 

Burrow went 18-of-35 for 184 yards and an interception, but was sacked five times behind a crumbling offensive line that continually got beat on one-on-ones on max protection. 

"They had a really good game plan and their defensive line played really well," Burrow said. "At the end of the day, we just didn't make the plays to win the game."

"We just weren't tough enough, physical enough or ready enough to make the plays."

Burrow came out throwing a seven-yard pass to tight end Foster Moreau. Burrow then hit running back Nick Brossette for six yards and a first down. 

LSU was forced to punt after two Burrow incompletions and Brossette rush for a loss of three yards. 

The following drive, Alabama came out like one expected of the 2018 Tide offense. 

Tagovailoa had three quick passes of 17, 14 and 28 yards before he hit Ruggs for a 15-yard touchdown pass, giving Alabama a 6-0 lead after a missed extra point.

Neither team would score the rest of the quarter, as LSU held the Tide to its lowest first quarter total all season.

LSU continued to struggle and went three and out on its next drive, and Alabama was forced to punt on the following drive as well. 

After an incomplete pass to receiver Stephen Sullivan, LSU got a lucky break when an Alabama corner was called for pass interference on a throw to junior receiver Dee Anderson.

Burrow continued to attempt to take shots downfield, as he hit sophomore receiver Justin Jefferson for 18 yards to cross the 50-yard line for the first time all game. Burrow then completed a pass to sophomore running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire for eight yards. A rush for no gain forced the Tigers to punt again. 

Alabama's next drive went for 15 plays and 75 yards before the Tiger defense was able to stop the Tide just short of the end zone. Alabama kicked a field goal to extend its lead to 9-0. 

LSU continued to move the ball on offense, but once again stalled after passing the 50-yard line. 

Burrow completed a pass for eight yards to Jefferson, and Brossette ran three for the first down for the Tigers' first third-down conversion of the game. Burrow then hit Jefferson again for eight yards, but Brossette was unable to get the first down again. 

LSU was flagged for a false start and could not recover the yardage as they were forced to punt again. 

Harris picked off Tagovailoa for the quarterback's first interception of the season, but LSU started the drive at the 4-yard line. 

"I saw Tua, I know he liked to scramble around and he threw the ball up and I saw that was my chance to go get an interception," Harris said. "So I just ran deep and cut through and caught the interception."

After an Edwards-Helaire gain for four yards, Burrow was blindsided on a sack at the 1-yard line. Zach Von Rosenberg did what he could with the punt, as Alabama started from its own 46-yard line. 

It only took Tagovailoa two plays to score again. He completed a pass to receiver Jerry Jeudy for 29 yards before hitting Smith perfectly in the end zone to give Alabama a 16-0 leading going into halftime. 

The second half was not much better than the first for the LSU offense, as Burrow was rarely left with more than a couple second inside the pocket to make a play. Orgeron thought that they would be able to exploit weaknesses in Alabama's defense, but was ultimately overwhelmed by the defensive line. 

"Those guys were beating us," Orgeron said. "They stunned us. We tried everything we possibly could — go full wide, max protection. We just got beat."

"We felt that we could protect, throw the ball quick, short easy throws. We thought we could run the football outside zone, get some stuff going. We didn't cut well on the quicks. We got passes blocked. We just didn't execute."

LSU went three and out on its first drive of the second half, while Tagovailoa game out with a 30-yard pass to Jeudy on the first Alabama play of the half. 

That would be all, as the LSU defense held Alabama at midfield and forced a punt. 

Burrow had another big completion to Jefferson, but the offense was unable to make anything of it. 

Once again, Alabama had big completions of 16 and 15 yards, even after an LSU sack put up a third-and-long. In a scramble, Tagovailoa ran for a 44-yard touchdown to put the Tide up 22-0. 

Burrow and Jefferson continued to show their connection, as Burrow hit him for a 23-yard gain. 

After being sacked for a loss of eight yards, Burrow rushed for 11 to get it back. Burrow then hit Dee Anderson for a nine-yard gain and a first down. 

After a series of short runs, the Tigers sent out kicker Cole Tracy, who missed his third field goal of the season. 

Damien Harris ran for a 1-yard touchdown to extend Alabama's lead to 29-0 and Burrow threw an interception in the end zone to end the game. 

The Tigers are now focused on facing unranked Arkansas and no overlooking a weaker opponent than that of their recent schedule. 

"We have to move forward," Orgeron said. "We have a chance to have a hell of a season. We'll look at this on Tell the Truth Monday and get better and move on to Arkansas and finish very strong. This team has a chance to have a very good season, go to a big bowl, and that's what I'm looking forward to."

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