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Joe Burrow, LSU Tigers owned Alabama in the first half

Butch Dill - USA TODAY Sports

The first half of Alabama-LSU lived up to the hype from the Tigers standpoint. 

Joe Burrow completed 18 of 20 passes for 252 yards – including a trio of touchdown strikes to Ja’Marr Chase (28 yards), Terrence Marshall (29 yards) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (13 yards) as the Tigers hold a 33-13 edge. 

Chase carries a game-high 105 yards receiving, while Justin Jefferson has 35 receiving yards on three catches. Clyde Edwards-Helaire chimes in with 24 yards rushing on nine carries. He scored the Tigers’ final touchdown of the first half on a 1-yard run. Though he is not known as a runner, Burrow has 31 yards rushing on eight carries.

RELATED: Final observations before Alabama and LSU kick off

While its offense outgained Alabama, 309-196 in the first half, the Tigers defense has frustrated Tua Tagovailoa and company. Despite a strong opening drive, Tagovailoa fumbled the ball inside the red zone and LSU recovered. Since then, he was pressured three times and the Tigers generated three tackles for loss.

JaCoby Stevens and K’Lavon Chaisson each have four tackles. 

Tagovailoa completed 11 of 19 passes for 172 yards with one score and one interception.

His touchdown came on a 64-yard hook up to DeVonta Smith in the second quarter.

Najee Harris has 38 yards rushing and the duo of Smith and Jerry Jeudy both have 66 yards receiving. 

Defensively, Anfernee Jennings is playing with fire. 

To pair with his five tackles, he has two tackles for loss – both sacks. Xavier McKinney has seven tackles from his safety spot and Markail Benton has five stops. Jared Mayden chimes in with five total tackles, while Trevon Diggs has four stops.

The duo of Jordan Battle and Terrell Lewis have three total tackles. Diggs, a senior, has got burned the entire first half.,

The touchdown catch from Chase was the first given up by Diggs all year.

The second bright spot for Alabama was a punt return score from Jaylen Waddle. 

Seeing as how the Tide started the game with the ball, its defense has to play with intensity to start the second half. Offensively, the unit has to get it together. Tagovailoa did not have much protection in the first half and the Tide was not able to establish a rushing attack.  

The last time Alabama was down 13 or more points at halftime — 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game — it found a way to come back and win. Some serious digging needs to be done in the second half.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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