The Daily Reveille sports staff shares their thoughts following LSU's 29-0 loss to Alabama.
Defense wins championships? | Chris Caldarera
The Alabama game is like the movie “Groundhog Day” because each contest feels exactly like the one prior. LSU’s defense gives the team a valiant effort for three quarters before getting gassed in the fourth quarter.
The 2018 installment of the Alabama-LSU rivalry didn’t deviate from the script.
While it seemed as though the Crimson Tide moved the ball at will in the first half and finished with 576 yards of total offense, the Tiger defense made stops when it mattered most. After all, holding an Alabama team averaging 54.1 points per game to a mere 16 points by the end of the second quarter is certainly deserving of some praise.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to hold back such a prolific offense when the defense is on the field for so many drives. LSU’s offense was unable to move down the field, and the Tigers finished the night with half as many punts as they had receptions. As a result, the defense was worn down by the fourth quarter and Alabama put the finishing touches on its 29-0 victory.
You can’t win games if you can’t score points. That’s true for every sport and against any opponent. If LSU can’t find a way to light up its side of the scoreboard against Alabama, expect to see more quality defensive outings be a footnote in this rivalry.
Dave Aranda is earning his salary | Kennedi Landry
Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is the highest paid assistant in the nation with a four-year, $2.5 million contract — and for good reason.
Despite the outcome, LSU's defense held Alabama to 29 points when it was averaging 51.3 prior to the matchup.
LSU ended Alabama's touchdown on the first drive streat, Heisman favorite Tua Tagovailoa threw his first interception to Todd Harris and he even played his first fourth quarter snaps of the season.
And while running backs Damien Harris and Najee Harris practically ran over LSU in the trenches and Tagovailoa continued to make Heisman like plays, the defense was often able to make stops.
The problem in the game came when the LSU offense consistently was unable to sustain drives and the defense had no time to rest. In the first quarter alone, Alabama held the ball for 10:02, while LSU only held possession for 4:58. The only quarter when LSU had longer possession was in the third when it totaled 7:51 and Alabama had 7:09.
If the LSU offense had been able to string together plays and stay on the field for long periods of time, giving the defense a lot more time to rest, this game would likely have been a lot closer.
Offensive line woes derail LSU’s chance at an upset against Alabama | Brandon Adam
Coach Ed Orgeron said it best after the 29-0 loss to Alabama. LSU needs to get better on the offensive line. Orgeron needs to recruit better because, at the moment, the offensive line isn’t getting it done.
What everyone saw on Saturday was what people saw against Southeastern and Florida. LSU is a little bit above average on the offensive, and against Alabama and the top teams in the country, a little bit above average won’t cut it.
What Orgeron said might not have been the smartest move — usually, coaches don’t flat out say our players aren’t very good and it was their fault not the scheme — but it was the truth. Now, let’s see if he keeps telling the truth on “Tell the Truth Monday.”
What next? | Glen West
With the college football playoff now officially out of reach, the question becomes where will the Tigers fall in bowl rankings after the 29-0 blowout at the hands of Alabama.
LSU dropped to No. 9 in the AP Poll, but the College Football Playoff rankings don’t come out until Tuesday night.
Coach Ed Orgeron and players were adamant after the game that this season is not a wash and there’s still a lot to play for. LSU still boasts one of the best resumes in college football, knocking off four teams ranked in the top-25 at the time.
Bowl projections have the Tigers anywhere from the Fiesta Bowl to the Peach Bowl currently, but the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans might not be out of the realm of possibility, as well. The bottom line is LSU still has a chance at a New Year’s Six bowl game — something very few people were saying in August.