LSU holds on vs. Alabama

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Sports - By JOHN ZENOR

Joe Bur­row passed for 393 yards and three touch­downs and No. 1 LSU snapped an eightgame los­ing streak to No. 2 Alabama with a 46- 41 vic­tory. The Tigers ( 9- 0, 5- 0 South­east­ern Con­fer­ence, No. 2 CFP) are no longer sec­ond fid­dle in the SEC West, or maybe in the play­off rank­ings. And Bur­row stamped him­self as the Heis­man Tro­phy front- run­ner with a gutty per­for­mance when he an­swered ev­ery chal­lenge from ‘Bama. The Crim­son Tide ral­lied from a 33- 13 half­time deficit.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Joe Bur­rrow sprinted to­ward the LSU fans to cel­e­brate a mon­u­men­tal vic­tory, and mo­ments later was hoisted on the shoul­ders of two beefy team­mates.

They car­ried him only part­way across the field. The ride isn’t fin­ished for Bur­row and No. 1 LSU but the quar­ter­back’s mas­ter­ful per­for­mance Satur­day in a 46-41 vic­tory over neme­sis and sec­ond-ranked Alabama marked a huge step to­ward the Tigers’ cham­pi­onship goals.

Bur­row passed for 393 yards and three touch­downs, an­swered chal­lenge after chal­lenge and helped end the eightyear string of fu­til­ity that started with the na­tional ti­tle game in Jan­uary 2012. Now, their sights are set on an­other shot at na­tional and South­east­ern Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onships.

LSU coach Ed Org­eron said that for the first time he told his play­ers pre-Alabama, “You’re the bet­ter team.”

“We’ve fi­nally got the tools that we need to beat those guys,” Org­eron said. “To have a cham­pi­onship team, you’ve got to have a cham­pi­onship quar­ter­back.”

The Tigers (9-0, 5-0 South­east­ern Con­fer­ence, No. 2 CFP) are no longer sec­ond fid­dle in the SEC West, or maybe in the play­off rank­ings. And Bur­row stamped him­self as the Heis­man Tro­phy front-run­ner with a gutty per­for­mance when he an­swered ev­ery chal­lenge from ‘Bama.

And the chal­lenges were plen­ti­ful.

That came as no sur­prise to Bur­row.

“I knew they were go­ing to come back,” he said. “That’s Alabama on the other side, dy­nasty. I was re­ally happy with the way we re­sponded.”

The Crim­son Tide (8-1, 5-1, No. 3 CFP) ral­lied from a 33-13 half­time deficit to three times to pull within a touch­down in the fourth quar­ter. It kept go­ing from game seem­ingly over to game on.

The show­down lived up to its billing as a duel be­tween two high-pow­ered of­fenses and star quar­ter­backs with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at­tend­ing. Tua Tago­v­ailoa launched an 85-yard touch­down pass to DeVonta Smith with 1:21 left after the Tigers’ own scor­ing march.

Justin Jef­fer­son re­cov­ered the on­side kick and LSU ran out the clock, fi­nally tri­umphant over their SEC West neme­sis.

Bur­row com­pleted 31 of 39 passes. ran for 64 yards and was car­ried most of the way off the field by two team­mates.

The ride isn’t over for LSU. Bur­row said ti­tles are what he was after when he trans­ferred to LSU from Ohio State.

“We’re not done yet,” the two-year starter said. “It’s Game 9. We’ve got three more reg­u­lar-sea­son ones and the SEC cham­pi­onship. This was never our goal. We’ve got big­ger goals than this.”

Clyde Ed­wards-Helaire ran for three touch­downs and caught a scor­ing pass, get­ting emo­tional on the side­line after a late touch­down that ap­peared once again to put the game away.

Tago­v­ailoa, 20 days re­moved from an­kle surgery, was 21 of 40 for 418 yards and four touch­downs with an in­ter­cep­tion and a fum­ble. He was called a “game-time de­ci­sion” all week, looked shaky early and ap­peared to be limp­ing after the game, but he kept Alabama in it.

Coach Nick Sa­ban said Tago­v­ailoa prac­ticed all week with­out any is­sues.

“He said he could play in the game, he wanted to play in the game and he thought he could go out and do a good job,” Sa­ban said. “I think he was a war­rior in terms of what he did.”

Smith had 213 yards and a pair of touch­downs on seven catches for Alabama.

LSU out­gained Alabama by a slen­der 559-541. The Tigers had scored just 39 com­bined points in the last five meet­ings, but this was an en­tirely dif­fer­ent of­fense.

As­so­ci­ated Press

RUN LSU quar­ter­back Joe Bur­row (9) runs as Alabama de­fen­sive line­man Phi­dar­ian Mathis (48) chases on Satur­day in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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