QUICK HITS: Alabama beats LSU 21-17

Nick Saban

They had to overcome adversity to do it--real live adversity this time--but No. 1 Alabama came back and beat No. 5 LSU 21-17 Saturday night to end the Tigers' 22-game winning streak in Death Valley.

Five quick hits from No. 1 Alabama's 21-17 comeback win over No. 5 LSU.

1. When a January trip to Miami seemed like it was slipping away, A.J. McCarron put his team on his back and had himself a Heisman moment.

Down 17-14 with less than two minutes on the clock, McCarron took Alabama on a 72-yard game-winning drive where he went 4-for-5 and capped it with a 28-yard touchdown pass to true freshman T.J Yeldon, who had fumbled on the 10-yard line in the third quarter.

Alabama ended LSU's 22-home game winning streak with an emotional 21-17 win in Death Valley.

"I love moments like that," McCarron said. "I always want to have the ball in pressure situations."

2. Two hours before kickoff, Alabama head coach Nick Saban walked his old stomping grounds. The LSU student section had already filled up and once they saw him, began to chant profanities.

After the game, Crimson Tide fans showed him the love, cheering when he walked by, screaming at him as if he were a rock star. To them, he is.

There was a lot of emotion in the aftermath on both sides. LSU and Alabama players, fans and coaches alike were crying, but for different reasons, of course.

There was a lot of mutual respect on the field, as it seemed more players than usual were giving guys on the opposing team hugs and saying, 'Good game.'

3. After the game, Saban told reporters that he's never been more proud of a group of guys for spitting in the face of adversity.

"They kept their poise and they kept playing and they kept competing," he said. "I've never been prouder of a bunch of guys for the way they competed in this game.

"That last drive was something that I'll never forget."

4. Zach Mettenberger played his best game of the season against the nation's top-ranked defense. The LSU quarterback threw crisp passes and went 24-of-35 for 298 yards and a touchdown.

Aside from his two two-minute drills—the touchdown he scored before halftime and the drive he led in the final minutes—McCarron was 14-of-27 for 165 yards and a touchdown.

It's funny—good quarterback play was the glaring advantage that the Tide had heading into this game. All night, it seemed to be the opposite, but when it mattered, McCarron came through.

5. Mistakes were going to be key in this game. Whoever made less would win.

Alabama was the team with two turnovers—a muffed punt by Cyrus Jones and then a fumble by Yeldon that LSU turned into points on the ensuing possession—but it was missed opportunities by the Tigers that killed them: a failed fake field goal attempt in the second quarter when down 7-3, going for it on fourth-and-1 from field goal range while up 17-14 in the fourth and another missed field goal later in the quarter that left nine points on the field for the Tigers.


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