Stop me if you've heard this one: LSU and Alabama played an instant classic with massive postseason implications. Oh right, we've seen this before many times, but 2022's matchup got a little spicier as the Crimson Tide and the Tigers took their battle beyond the limits of regulation and into overtime.
LSU Upsets Alabama in Another Instant SEC Classic
After a wild day that saw undefeated Georgia shutdown Tennessee, Texas A&M drop another home game to the Florida Gators and Notre Dame completely ruin Clemson's CFP argument, the spotlight turned to the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium for a classic Saturday night game in Death Valley, broadcast by ESPN.
Alabama and Heisman Trophy-winning QB Bryce Young found themselves behind the eight ball in the fourth quarter as Jayden Daniels and the LSU Tigers offense worked Bama's defense. Daniels, a transfer to the LSU football team from Arizona State, rushed for 95 yards against the Tide's defense, using his legs often to keep them in the game against their SEC rival.
With less than four minutes left in the game, Nick Saban opted to go for two points after taking a 21-17 lead, rather than kick the extra point. The Tide failed to reach the end zone, keeping the score 21-17, as LSU prepped for the ball. After the kickoff, with just under two minutes left, Daniels found, not a wide receiver, but true freshman tight end Mason Taylor, son of NFL star Jason Taylor, for a touchdown in the back of the end zone. After the successful extra point try, the score was 24-21 in favor of LSU.
Bama's Mistake & Daniels' Shake and Bake
It doesn't matter if you're a fan of Mississippi State, Auburn, Arkansas, Ohio State, Kansas, Michigan or Missouri; you can see the mistake Bama made. If Saban had just kicked the extra point, Alabama could win the game with a field goal, which means they'd win the game and control the SEC West. Instead, Saban needed a game-tying field goal from his kicker Will Reichard, who just squeaked his kick over the crossbar. To overtime, we go!
Bama got the ball first and scored on their possession thanks to a touchdown from running back Roydell Williams. When LSU got the ball, Daniels wasted no time scampering in relatively untouched for the score. And that's where things got interesting.
Instead of kicking the extra point and handing the ball back to Alabama, LSU's head coach Brian Kelly decided to go for two and end the game and that's exactly what happened. Daniels once again found Taylor for the score sealing the victory for LSU and spoiling Alabama's revenge tour. If Alabama just kicked the extra point instead of going for two, Reichard's field goal would have won the game, not send it to overtime.
There's a lot to upack here, but let's cut to the good stuff. LSU continues their dark horse journey towards the top of the rankings as they look to keep their losses at two for the season. Alabama will look to bounce back from their second loss of the season against Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss, a game that is always personal between the two head coaches. But as for Bama's hopes of returning to the national championship game after Kelee Ringo's interception sealed their fate last year? It may be an early end to the season in Tuscaloosa, y'all. Alabama football is about to tumble down the college football playoff rankings.
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