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Defense, Henry Carry Bama to Victory

Dominance. Destruction. Overpowering. The superlatives surrounding the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 30-16 win over #2 LSU could fill a library several times over. The defense played like a swarm of crimson colored bees, and smothered Heisman Trophy hopeful Leonard Fournette to the tune of 31 yards on 16 caries. The Tide’s sledgehammer, running back Derrick Henry, put the team on his back and bashed his way to 210 yards and three touchdowns. He simply kept coming against a stout LSU defensive front.

The statistics were hilariously one-sided. LSU notched 54 rushing yards to Alabama’s 250. That rushing different led to a comical difference in time-of-possession. Alabama held the ball for 39 minutes and 27 seconds to LSU’s 20 minutes and 33 seconds.

Alabama grabbed complete control of the game early in the second half. Leading 13-10, Tide linebacker Dillon Lee made an interception on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. Alabama quickly capitalized with a touchdown for a 20-10 lead. Two more drives extended the lead to 30-10. To the Tiger’s credit, they did keep fighting, and turned a late fumble into a touchdown to cut the lead to 30-16, but A’Shawn Robinson made one of the most spectacular plays of the year when he jumped over the LSU line to block the PAT.

From there, it was all Henry. Alabama closed the game out with a nine minute drive which pushed Henry over the 200 yard mark.

Coach Nick Saban called it a great team win, and praised the defense’s ability to stop an excellent running back in Leonard Fournette. True to form, though, Saban harped on the single mistake the defense made which let Fournette get an 18 yard run.

One specific statistic of note. Adam Griffith’s 55 yard field goal near the end of the first half was the second longest field goal made that didn’t use a tee.

The Alabama win, coupled with an Arkansas upset of the Ole Miss Rebels, puts the Crimson Tide in control of their own destiny. Win out, and they’ll play for an SEC title, and a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Crimson Tide plays on the road next week against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

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