A day later, we got a second look at Alabama’s 29-0 win at LSU.
And it was just as complete on the DVR version of the CBS broadcast. The Crimson Tide defense probably didn’t get the attention it deserved considering how little LSU could muster all night.
Here are the notes with context of history and postgame interviews to help digest the eighth straight win Alabama notched over LSU.
— Before we get started on the game, I have to note just how insane that atmosphere was. TV doesn’t do it justice. I spoke with several people who are Tiger Stadium lifers and they said that first half was as loud as they’ve heard it.
— Alabama’s opening drive looked promising hitting quick passes. Tua Tagovailoa connected on his first four passes. You also saw the return of the jet sweep pop pass that became a Lane Kiffin staple. It worked two of the three times they used it with the negative play killing that opening drive.
— Tagovailoa threw by far his most passes of the season. He missed a few and most of the time the misfires were too tall for receivers.
— The noise affected Alabama several times in the opening drive but it also got to LSU’s defense. It drew an illegal substitution flag when it looked like there was a communication breakdown. There was confusion in the secondary a few snaps before that.
— One can only wonder what’s going through Mac Jones’ head entering the game at the peak of the madness for one snap after Tagovailoa took a low blow. Option pitch was the call.
— LSU had a little early success with passes for seven and six yards respectively. They went to the tight end, then running back — places Alabama’s been vulnerable this season. Saban later said they made quick adjustments on the fly and it’s safe to say they worked.
— Henry Ruggs III is known for his speed but his one-handed, reaching back catch on his scoring drive was the most athletic play we’d seen from a WR this season.
— Both Najee Harris and Damien Harris looked especially fresh running the ball. They had an extra burst through the hole that wasn’t necessarily lacking but it was just more noticeable at LSU.
— Quinnen Williams just bullies offensive linemen. He stands them up and steamrolls into the backfield for his first sack in the opening quarter.
— Along with the extra point issues, there were some tense moments with LSU gunners closing in on freshman punt returner Jaylen Waddle. There were a few bobbles and one muff he recovered.
— Perhaps Tagovailoa’s best throw came on the snap after Nick Saban had to call timeout and chewed on his quarterback for play clock issues. From the far hash to the sideline, he dropped one perfectly to the back shoulder of Waddle. It traveled a long way but had the zip to find the target without being knocked down.
— Two deep shots after that were overthrown with pressure in the pocket.
— Patrick Surtain II, a top recruiting target of LSU, made a huge play knocking down a pass late in the first quarter after the Tigers got their first big pass a play earlier. Momentum killed.
— Offensive guards might get the least attention of anyone but Deonte Brown has been a difference maker since winning the job on the left side. He’s been a difference maker in the running game.
— It’s been a while since the Wildcat QB look came out before Josh Jacobs ran straight up the gut on fourth-and-one in the second quarter.
— Midway through the second quarter with Alabama up 9-0 and Tagovailoa throwing the season’s first interception, it felt like LSU was weathering the storm. It was doing nothing on offense but Alabama had not broken things open despite the 250-plus yards gained.
— There were a few missed flags on both sides. It looked like a few Alabama d-linemen were held at times and Dylan Moses got away with a late hit on the Alabama sideline late in the first half. LSU had something going on the Alabama side of the 50 but the drive again ended in a punt. The first nine did.
— Irv Smith converted a third down on a play that everyone seemed confused from the running back to having two passing targets in the same spot. Smith got it instead of Ruggs. Sometimes, things are just working.
— The Tagovailoa INT broke the second-longest streak by an Alabama QB without a pick. It was 194 straight passes without a turnover before that one. AJ McCarron still holds the mark with 291. Tagovailoa was also sacked for only the sixth time the season.
— Anfernee Jennings had a nice day blowing up a screen early and almost getting a safety on a sack late in the half. After a scary knee injury in the Sugar Bowl, he’s having a big year.
— Other than the throw to Waddle earlier, the touchdown pass to Irv Smith was his best throw. The touch he put on the ball in good coverage is why Tagovailoa is a Heisman contender.
— The possession that capped the second quarter scoring was Alabama’s 21st scoring drive that took less than a minute this season.
— Alabama is outscoring the opposition 36-7 in the first half this season, on average.
— It’s worth noting Alabama didn’t have a passing play that went longer than the 30-yarder to Jeudy early in the second half. LSU’s defense hasn’t allowed a pass longer than 50 yards all season. The Tide still broke the 500-yard mark for the ninth time this season.
— DeVonta Smith was closely watched coming back from a hamstring pull three weeks ago. He played a decent number of snaps and was targeted on passes but didn’t catch any balls.
— After seeing Irv Smith take off in this offense, a few writers were debating how much O.J. Howard would have loved playing in this scheme.
— The 44-yard rushing touchdown was Tagovailoa’s longest run of his career. With a running start, he ran the final 40 yards of the TD in 4.62 seconds on my stopwatch.
— With the Mack Wilson interception, Alabama has forced at least one turnover in 51 of the last 53 games dating back to the 2015 season opener.