TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — In overtime Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium, LSU junior Drew Alleman drilled a 25-yard field goal to finish the top-ranked Tigers’ epic 9-6 victory over No. 2 Alabama.
Alleman had made the kick in his head a thousand times.
“All week, I’ve been preparing before I go to bed,” he said. “You’ve just got to play the scenario in your mind.”
Alleman, who scored all of his team’s points Saturday on three field goals, got his chance to try the game-winner after the LSU defense held Alabama scoreless on the Crimson Tide’s only overtime possession.
Though the biggest kick of his college career, it wasn’t the first time Alleman came up big with a game on the line.
His junior year at Acadiana, Alleman beat district rival Sulphur in the Class 5A state championship, nailing a 32-yarder at the Superdome as time expired. Aleman had tied the score 10-10 with a 42-yarder early in the fourth quarter.
The 13-10 win gave Acadiana its first state title, but Alleman said Saturday’s kick against Alabama was certainly his most memorable.
“This is a little better,” Alleman said. “This was probably the game of the century.”
Alleman, who has made 38 of 39 extra points, improved to 13 of 15 on field goal tries in his first season as the LSU kicker.
Jarrett Lee notched his 14th victory Saturday in 18 career starts, but the fifth-year senior was benched after throwing only his second interception of the season in the first quarter and again after throwing another pick in the third.
Jordan Jefferson, with a 20-7 mark in 27 career starts, played most of the night.
In an interview with ESPN’s Chris Fowler after the game, LSU coach Les Miles was asked if Jefferson would supplant Lee as the starting quarterback.
“We have two quarterbacks,” Miles said. “We’re going to have two quarterbacks. Jarrett Lee’s been tremendous in this season and will continue to. I haven’t really given any thought to it.”
Jefferson completed only six of 10 passes for 67 yards, but rushed 11 times for 43 yards in helping LSU’s offense move the chains to establish field position. Lee was 3 of 7 for 24 yards with the two interceptions.
The LSU-Alabama game drew the second-highest rating of any CBS regular-season college football broadcast since the network began tracking ratings in 1987.
The network said Sunday the No. 1 versus No. 2 showdown earned an average overnight rating/share of 11.9/21, up 170 percent from last year’s LSU-Alabama game.
The highest rated CBS regular season game was Notre Dame-Miami in 1989.
A good option
With the Alabama front seven giving LSU’s hard-nose ground game fits Saturday, the Tigers turned to Michael Ford and a speed-oriented perimeter rushing attack.
Ford, who led all LSU rushers with 72 yards on 11 carries, hurt the Crimson Tide most, picking up 47 yards on six carries in the option game. The speedy Jefferson was at quarterback all six times LSU ran the option.
Miles said he was happy with the adjustment but expressed disappointment in the offense’s inability to make headway up the middle. Feature back Spencer Ware, who generally does his most damage between the tackles, managed only 29 yards on 11 carries.
“I feel like we should have gotten inside more,” Miles said. “I know those guys (Alabama’s run defense) are good, but we’ve to block it better.”
Saturday marked the fourth time in the Nick Saban era at Alabama that the winner of the LSU-Bama game trailed entering the fourth quarter.
The only time the winning team has led after three quarters, the Crimson Tide allowed the Tigers to force overtime before taking a 27-21 victory at Tiger Stadium in 2008.
Alabama still led Saturday before Alleman hit a 30-yard field goal to make it 6-6 with 14:13 to play.
Miles is now 49-4 at LSU in night games, including a 12-1 mark in away night games. ... Sophomore receiver James Wright made the first start of his LSU career Saturday. ... The last time LSU played a game that included no touchdowns by either team was No. 10 1979, when No. 1 Alabama beat LSU 3-0 in Baton Rouge.