BR.lsualabamamain.111019 HS 2068.JPG

Alabama linebacker Markail Benton (36) and Alabama linebacker Anfernee Jennings (33) tackle LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) in the first half, Saturday, November 9, 2019, at Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The streak died right where it started, banished to the past by an Ohio quarterback who is now the champion of Louisiana.

There was Joe Burrow, hoisted on the shoulders of his teammates, just moments after he, too, lifted the program.

Nose tackle Tyler Shelvin and offensive tackle Jakori Savage carried Burrow through the Alabama end zone — yes, that territory that has seemed so unreachable over the past several years.

Eight years to be exact. Eight games. Eight straight losses to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

All those scores can fade away, replaced by the one that flashed in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday night: LSU 46, Alabama 41.

Shocked to see it?

Not Ed Orgeron.

The native son of Louisiana, the coach who knew how much this rivalry meant to both the state and the fate of his program, said he told the team Monday, "You're the better football team."

"I've never told this team that going into Alabama," Orgeron said Saturday night. "I said, 'We are going to win the football game. We're getting on the plane, and we're going to beat Alabama.'"

Moments after Burrow was returned to the ground, LSU defensive line coach Dennis Johnson, who was sidelined to an analyst role with injury, rushed toward the middle of the field and embraced passing-game coordinator Joe Brady right on top of the painted Alabama "A."

"Look at that scoreboard!" Johnson said. "Look at that scoreboard!"

Orgeron hired Brady away from his offensive assistant position with the New Orleans Saints to help build a championship offense with coordinator Steve Ensminger.

And against a team that shut out the Tigers in two of their past three meetings, LSU scored more points against Alabama than in any other previous meeting in history.

"Obviously that made up for a couple of years," Orgeron said.


Can't see video below? Click here.


Burrow made his strongest case yet for the Heisman Trophy, and No. 2 LSU (9-0, 5-0 SEC) has its strongest case to be No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

The 6-foot-4, 216-pound senior converted on three crucial third downs in the fourth quarter, after LSU's 20-point cushion had shrunk to a 33-27 lead.

Right before the drive Burrow said he put on the headset on the sideline and overheard Brady and Ensminger saying: Put the ball in 9's hands.

Burrow, who was 31-of-39 passing for 393 yards and three touchdowns, completed third-down passes to Justin Jefferson and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and he rushed for the third conversion.

On the next play, Edwards-Helaire spun out of a tackle — as he's done so often this season — before walking into the end zone for a touchdown that gave LSU the distance it needed.

Edwards-Helaire rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns, adding nine catches for 77 yards and another touchdown.

But Alabama's streak did not want to die.

Tua Tagovailoa and the Tide wouldn't let it.

Alabama's Heisman-contending quarterback commanded two more touchdown drives to keep Alabama within range. First on a 75-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy, then again with an 85-yard bomb to a wide open DeVonta Smith to pull within 46-41.

It drew Alabama close enough to attempt an onside-kick, one that Jefferson had to jump to recover.

That itself was iconic: Jefferson sealed the win; it was his oldest brother, Jordan, who quarterbacked LSU to its last win over Alabama in the "Game of the Century" in 2011.

"This whole game was a memory," said Jefferson, who had seven catches for 79 yards. "It just feels like a dream to come out here and beat Alabama on their own field."

Jefferson spoke to reporters standing on the field, and he pointed into the stands, off memory, remembering where he watched his brother beat Alabama 9-6 in overtime.

Who else will carry this memory? And is it what they expected?

Yes, this rivalry seemed so status quo at first.

There rolled the Tide on its first drive, an effective Tagovailoa (playing with an ankle injury) completing a 20-yard pass to Henry Ruggs III on the first play, Najee Harris breaking off a 31-yard run off the right sideline into the LSU red zone.

Then came the unexpected: Tagovailoa scrambled right on third-and-goal, and when he switched the football from his dominant left hand to his right, the ball squirted loose.

LSU outside linebacker Ray Thornton dove on the football at the 8-yard line.

Then came more of the expected: LSU's record-setting offense scored.

Burrow completed three consecutive passes. First to Ja'Marr Chase for 23 yards. Jefferson for 18 more. Then, Burrow unfurled a 33-yard touchdown pass to Chase on the right sideline, where the 6-foot-1, 200-pound receiver swept cornerback Trevon Diggs past him like a bull fighter, caught the pass and stepped into the end zone for the 7-0 lead.

It was the first time LSU led Alabama in a game since 2014, during a 20-13 loss.

Plenty more first-time-sinces were toppled Saturday, when the crowd witnessed its first home loss since 2015.

One was an LSU mistake: gunner Racey McMath was there when Alabama's Jaylen Waddle caught a punt, but the swift returner slipped from McMath's grip and weaved from one side of the field to the other for a 77-yard touchdown — the first against LSU since 2015 against Florida.

Burrow and Tagovailoa traded touchdowns to wide-open receivers, and both teams missed the extra points.

Burrow found Terrace Marshall wide open over the middle of the field for a 29-yard score, and Tagovailoa completed a 64-yard touchdown to Smith to bring Alabama within 19-13.

Rare mistakes by Alabama helped LSU distance to a 33-13 lead at halftime.

LSU linebacker Patrick Queen intercepted Tagovailoa for just his third pick of the season to give the Tigers the ball at the Alabama 13 with 26 seconds left in the half.

Burrow delivered a 13-yard touchdown to Edwards-Helaire in the left corner of the end zone, moments before getting rocked by a Bama defender.

It's familiar grit.

And Orgeron ended the night with a familiar phrase:

"We're comin'," Orgeron said. "We're comin'. This won't be the last time. We're there and we're going to continue to rise. We're going to continue to make progress in this program to bring a championship back to Louisiana."


+47 
+47 
BR.lsualabamamain.111019. 2385 bf.jpg
+47 
+47 
BR.lsualabamamain.111019 HS 2490.JPG
+47 
+47 
BR.lsualabamamain.111019. 1257 bf.jpg
+47 
+47 
BR.lsualabamamain.111019 HS 2754.JPG
+47 
+47 
BR.lsualabamamain.111019 HS 1197.JPG

Email Brooks Kubena at bkubena@theadvocate.com.