Tago­v­ailoa, Crim­son Tide roll past Tigers

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL - By Brett Mar­tel

BA­TON ROUGE, La. — Tua Tago­v­ailoa threw two touch­down passes and ran 44 yards for a score in his tough­est test this sea­son, top-ranked Alabama’s de­fense sti­fled No. 3 LSU, and the Crim­son Tide re­mained un­beaten with a 29-0 vic­tory Satur­day night.

Tago­v­ailoa took the field wear­ing a brace on right knee, threw his first in­ter­cep­tion of the sea­son late in the first half and also played into the fourth quar­ter for the first time this sea­son. None of those devel­op­ments proved con­se­quen­tial. He was 25-of-42 pass­ing for 295 yards and moved as well as well as he needed to, par­tic­u­larly when he sprinted up the mid­dle of the field or his long TD run in the third quar­ter to give Alabama (9-0, 6-0) a 22-0 lead.

Tago­v­ailoa limped off the field af­ter that play, went into the med­i­cal tent for some treat­ment and rode a sta­tion­ary bike on the side­line, but re­turned for the next se­ries.

LSU (7-2, 4-2) en­tered with a chance to con­trol the SEC Western Divi­sion with a vic­tory, but that be­gan to be de­creas­ingly re­al­is­tic with every pos­ses­sion.

Alabama led 16-0 by half­time and forced LSU punts on the Tigers’ first nine pos­ses­sions. LSU drove to the Alabama 15 on its tenth se­ries early in the fourth quar­ter, only to miss a field goal with 10:45 to go.

Tigers quar­ter­back Joe Bur­row com­pleted 18 of 35 passes for 184 yards. He was sacked five times and had a pass in­ter­cepted in the end zone late in the back by line­backer Mack Wil­son. Nose guard Quin­nen Wil­liams fin­ished with 2½ sacks. Line­abck­ers An­fer­nee Jen­nings and Chris­tian Miller each had one. The Tigers were help­less to re­lieve pres­sure on Bur­row with the run­ning game, held to 12 yards all game.

De­fen­sively, the Crim­son Tide rarely looked fooled and more of­ten seemed to an­tic­i­pate what was com­ing. Most LSU plays ended with crim­son jer­seys swarm­ing to the ball at, near or be­hind the line of scrim­mage.

Alabama fin­ished with a 576-196 ad­van­tage in to­tal yards and spent 35:18 in pos­ses­sion of the ball.

Damien Har­ris rushed for 107 yards on 19 car­ries, in­clud­ing his 1-yard TD run, for Alabama. Na­jee Har­ris gained 83 yards on the ground, 29 on one carry.

Jerry Jeudy caught eight passes for 103 yards, Irv Smith Jr. had four catches for 64 yards, in­clud­ing a 25yard touch­down grab late in the first half.

Tago­v­ailoa’s in­ter­cep­tion came on a deep throw down the mid­dle, which Todd Har­ris Jr. hauled in for his first ca­reer pick while fall­ing to the ground at the LSU 4.

The Tiger Sta­dium crowd went wild, as it ap­peared the turnover might get LSU to half­time down by no more than nine points, per­haps less, if the Tigers could move the ball.

But the Crim­son Tide’s re­sponse was em­phatic, how­ever. Bur­row was sacked in­side the 1-yard line, and LSU had to punt shortly af­ter­ward.

Scott Clause / As­so­ci­ated Press

LSU’s Joe Bur­row is sacked by Alabama line­backer An­fer­nee Jen­nings, one of five sacks by Alabama.

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