Blake Sims Leads Stunning Rally as Alabama Beats LSU in Overtime, 20-13
Quarterback Blake Sims engineered a stunning last-minute drive in the fourth quarter that produced a game-tying field goal, then threw a six-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DeAndrew White in overtime for the winning score as No. 4 ranked Alabama (8-1 overall; 5-1 in the SEC) overcame a late deficit to post a 20-13 victory over No. 14 ranked LSU (7-3 overall; 3-3 in the SEC) before a capacity crowd of 102,321 on Saturday night at Tiger Stadium.
Sims revived a dormant Alabama offense after the Crimson Tide had seen very little of the field in the second half as LSU erased a halftime deficit. After LSU took a 13-10 lead on a 39-yard field goal by Colby Delahoussaye with 50 seconds left in the fourth quarter following an Alabama turnover deep in its end of the field, Sims engineered a 55-yard drive in nine plays that took 47 seconds leading to Adam Griffith’s game-tying 27-yard field goal with three seconds left. Sims completed four of six passes for 50 yards on the drive including a clutch 22-yard pass to Christion Jones on a third and four play that carried to the LSU 26. Sims then sealed the verdict on the first possession of overtime with the game-winner to White.
The overtime win was Alabama’s first since a 27-21 over LSU win at Tiger Stadium on Nov. 8, 2008, and improved the Crimson Tide to 5-8 all-time in overtime games, including a 3-1 mark in overtime games on the road.
Alabama junior wide receiver Amari Cooper passed DJ Hall for the No. 1 spot on Alabama’s all-time receiving yards list with eight catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. He entered the contest needing 56 yards to jump Hall’s record of 2,923 yards set during the 2004-07 seasons. Cooper now has 2,951 yards for his career. With his first reception of the game, a nine-yarder in the first quarter, Cooper set the Alabama record for receiving yards in a season, passing Julio Jones for the top spot. Jones racked up 1,133 yards during the 2010 season on 78 catches. Following tonight’s game, Cooper has 79 receptions for 1,215 yards of offense. With 68 yards rushing, Tide junior running back T.J. Yeldon has surpassed 3,000 career rushing yards. He now has 3,029 rushing yards in his Alabama career, ranking sixth on the Alabama career rushing yardage list.
Alabama held a 315-259 edge in total offense, including 209 passing yards and 106 rushing, while LSU rushed for 183 yards and passed for 76 yards. While Alabama would complete 20 of 46 passes without an interception, LSU was limited to eight completions in 26 attempts with one interception. The Tide won despite a drastic disadvantage in time of possession as LSU had the ball for 39:33 to the Tide’s 20:27.
LSU running back Leonard Fournette rushed for a game-high 79 yards on 21 attempts. Alabama defensive lineman Jarran Reed had a career and game-high 15 tackles in the contest while Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland had 13 tackles. Freshman punter JK Scott had nine punts in the game for 437 yards, an average of 48.6 yards per punt, including a career-long 66-yarder. Two of his punts were downed inside the LSU 20-yard line.