With two minutes and 28 seconds left in the game, LSU (7-2,3-2) found itself within 10 yards and one first down of being able to pull the upset over top-ranked Alabama (9-0,6-0). However, up 17-14, LSU head coach Les Miles decided it was in the best interest of the team to run the ball to take more time off the clock as Alabama was out of timeouts for the remainder of the game. The play would go for a four yard gain and LSU would end up settling for a 45 yard field goal attempt by kicker Drew Alleman which was unsuccessful giving Alabama the ball back with just over a little more than a minute and a half left to go in the game.
Alabama was given a second chance with the opportunity to get the ball back and they would not disappoint in doing so. Quarterback AJ McCarron would lead Alabama on one of its most memorable drives in the history of the storied Alabama program. The Crimson Tide would travel 72 yards in 43 seconds to take a 21-17 lead and avoid getting upset on the road and kept their national title aspirations alive in the process.
There were many questionable decisions that could be asked regarding to Coach Miles’ decisions in this game; however, you cannot question his team’s performance and effort.
Coming into Saturday night’s contest LSU was not given a chance of winning by any major sports pundit in the country. And for a majority of the contest, LSU was able to outplay its SEC West rival.
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger set a career high in passing yards with 298 yards and most importantly didn’t turn the ball over. Mettenberger finally played up to the capabilities that everyone had of him coming into the season.
With Mettenberger’s ability to make plays down the field, he was able to take the pressure off the rushing attack. True-freshman Jeremy Hill and the LSU ground game were able to pound out good yardage against what was the nation’s best rush defense coming into Saturday’s contest. LSU racked up 139 yards on the ground which helped keep drives alive and the ball away from Alabama. Leading LSU to control the football for over 39 minutes in the game but they were unable to finish drives.
LSU was unable to put points on the board four times Saturday night when they were able to drive the ball inside the Alabama 40-yardline.
LSU failed to convert a fourth down attempt in the fourth quarter when running back Spencer Ware took a snap under center and tried to rush for the necessary yardage to gain the first down. Alleman failed to connect on field goal attempts of 54 and 45 yards in the game. And LSU decided to gamble on a 47-yard field goal attempt when holder Brad Wing tried a quick pass to Alleman in an attempt to trick the Alabama defense which was unsuccessful.
These failed opportunities and a number of questionable calls throughout the game leave LSU supporters wondering, “what if”, Sunday morning.