**Note: This was a print-only story**
By The Numbers
38 – Number of points scored by Alabama against LSU Saturday night. It was the most points scored by Alabama against LSU since 1947 when the Crimson Tide scored 41.
-9 – Total offensive yards from LSU during the fourth quarter when Alabama pulled away in the game.
18 – Consecutive games Alabama has rushed for at least one rushing touchdown. The Crimson Tide continued that streak on T.J. Yeldon’s four-yard score near the end of the third quarter.
4 – Number of times Alabama sacked Zach Mettenberger, which ties the season-high for sacks in a game by Alabama, who also had four against Kentucky.
7,997 – AJ McCarron’s career passing yards at Alabama, the new all-time record in school history. McCarron broke the previous record of 7,924 set by John Parker Wilson on a second-quarter completion.
A Once considered the weak link to Alabama’s title defense, the offensive line has turned into one of the Tide’s most consistent units since the start of October. The line paved the way to Alabama’s 193 rushing yards and gave AJ McCarron ample time to pass for much of the game. They did, however, allow a sack for the first time since Sept. 28 against Ole Miss.
A- Much like the offensive line, the defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage, particularly in the second half when LSU struggled to do much of anything offensively. Brandon Ivory provided a nice push at nose tackle after missing Alabama’s last game against Tennessee. Ed Stinson led the defensive linemen with four tackles, and Jeoffrey Pagan added a sack.
A- AJ McCarron’s Heisman stock is steadily rising after another efficient performance that saw the fifth-year senior throw for 179 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-20 passing. Among his incompletions, several appeared to be due to confusion between him and his receivers.
A- The fake punt during the third quarter set up a strong finish for Alabama, which took control the game from that point on. Cade Foster nailed his lone field goal attempt from 41 yards out to put the Crimson Tide on the board first, and Cody Mandell averaged 43.5 yards on two punts. The most visible breakdown was when LSU’s Odell Beckham returned a kickoff 82 yards during the fourth quarter, the longest return Alabama has allowed all season.
B+ The receiving corps as a whole seemed to be out of sync with quarterback AJ McCarron early on in the first quarter, but got it going soon after. Kevin Norwood led the team with four catches, including one for a touchdown, while Amari Cooper caught three passes for 46 yards. O.J. Howard’s lone catch went 52 yards for a touchdown to reclaim the lead for Alabama after briefly falling behind in the second quarter.
B LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger had his way in the first half, completing 10-of-13 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown, but was virtually shut down in the second half. Landon Collins recorded four tackles, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery, and Deion Belue nearly picked off Mettenberger in the second half. Cyrus Jones, who made the start at corner opposite of Belue, finished strong after a rough start.
A+ T.J. Yeldon carried the load in the second half for Alabama, rushing for 104 of his game-high 133 yards and two touchdowns. Kenyan Drake again provided a nice changeup in relief for Yeldon with 65 yards on 10 carries, while Jalston Fowler caught a short pass from McCarron for the Crimson Tide’s final touchdown of the game.
A+ Senior C.J. Mosley had another monster game, finishing the game with 12 tackles (1.5 tackles for loss) and two pass breakups. Trey DePriest recorded a sack and fumble recovery that set up Alabama’s opening points of the game. Tana Patrick came up with one of the biggest plays of the game with his forced fumble near the goal line on LSU’s opening drive of the game.