Tenth-ranked LSU played hard and well for three quarters, but in the end No. 1 Alabama simply wore the Tigers down.

The Crimson Tide overpowered LSU late with 21 unanswered points in a 38-17 victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron passed for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Running back T.J. Yeldon rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns.

With the score tied at 17, Alabama took the lead when running back Yeldon ran around right end for a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The score capped a 14-play, 79-yard drive.

The Crimson tide increased its lead to 31 -17 when Yeldon plunged up the middle ro a 1-yard touchdown run with 10:31 left .

Meanwhile, the game was hardly the kind of start that LSU needed. The Tigers lost two fumbles in the first quarter, but only trailed 3-0.

Alabama quarterback McCarron threw two touchdown passes, one to O.J. Howard for 52 yards and the other to Kevin Norwood for 9 yards, to give the Tide a 17-7 lead in the second quarter.

But LSU came back to cut the lead to 17-14 when Zach Mettenberger threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to receiver Travin Dural with 43 seconds left in the half.

LSU tied the score at 17 when Colby Delahoussaye hit a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter.

Then, Alabama started pulling away.