Alabama defense handles No. 3 LSU


By Hannah Saad

Cody Estremera , Sports Editor

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana— With 3:41 left in the game and on the Alabama 13, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow dropped back and threw a pass over the middle of the field towards the back of the end zone.

Instead of hitting receiver Jonathan Giles, he found linebacker Mack Wilson, completing the 29-0 shutout against No, 3 LSU.

“It was very important [to finish the shutout],” safety Deionte Thompson said. “We did not want to let them in the end zone. We just kept depending on each other.”

The interception was Wilson’s second of the season.

Alabama’s defense was simply suffocating. It held LSU’s defense to just 196 total yards and limited the Tigers to just 12 yards rushing. It was the first time that LSU finished with less than 30 yards on the ground since 2001, while Alabama set a new season best. Its previous best came in the season opener when it held Louisville to 16 yards.

“They moved the ball and ran the ball against everybody they played against,” Saban said. “I mean Georgia’s got a good defense; Mississippi State’s got a good defense. They had a good plan against us at the beginning of the game, we made some adjustments, and our players did a good job of adapting to it.”

The key was how success of Alabama’s defensive line. It finished with 16 tackles and five sacks, both led by defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.

Williams finished with 10 tackles and 2.5 sacks, both of which were career highs.

“It’s no surprise to me,” center Ross Pierschbacher said. “I’ve got to block Quinnen Williams every single day. I get pretty frustrated at practice. I’m just like ‘I can’t freaking block this guy. What do I need to do?’ Coach Key kind of calms me down. If we can block these guys, we can block anyone in the country. This is a big game for them [defensive line], just a statement game for us.”

The redshirt sophomore finished with 20 tackles and two sacks all of last season.

Overall, the Crimson Tide sacked Burrow five times and hurried him two more times.

Even when he had time to pass, the Alabama secondary was stout for the entire game. It broke up seven passes and allowed only 184 yards through the air. It was the fourth time this season it has held a team under 200 passing yards this season.

“We felt that we could protect, throw the ball quick, short easy throws,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “We thought that we could run the football outside zone, get some stuff going. We didn’t cut well on the quicks. We got passes blocked. We just didn’t execute.”

It forced five three-and-outs on LSU’s 11 drives.

Alabama’s defense has been considered by some as the weaker side of the ball this season. It wanted to prove those critics wrong on Saturday.

“Just because our offense is good, we want to show that we can both sides of the ball well,” Sophomore linebacker Dylan Moses said. “We don’t want to be looked at as one dimensional.”

Moses finished with six tackles, which was tied for second on the team.

Alabama is back in action next week against Mississippi State. It will remain at home for the rest of the regular season.