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Alabama Escapes Death (Valley): Angling For Three, A Screen Pass Goes For 28 Yards And Wins It

A great game that looked like an upset deep into the fourth quarter-if you go by point spread, was something of an upset even after the final buzzer-turned into another in a long string of Alabama victories, as the Crimson Tide won 21-17 and moved to 9-0 (6-0 SEC) on the season.

Up 17-14, Les Miles went for a 45-yard field goal on 4th and 6 at the Alabama 28. The miss gave Alabama the ball with 1:34 on the clock and AJ McCarron-rarely called upon to do much late-game gunslinging-completed three consecutive passes to Kevin Norwood for a combined 44 yards. Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson were convinced the LSU defense had given too much space to Norwood and the Alabama offense-until the defense got aggressive, expecting that Alabama was angling to get a closer field goal and tie the game. The Tide burned them on a screen pass-McCarron to T.J. Yeldon for 28 yards-that would eventually prove the difference.


LSU and Zach Mettenberger got the ball back, but couldn't seem to get out of bounds, and their 51 seconds went by too quickly for the Tigers to do any damage. After the game, McCarron was sort of dry-heaving with happiness on the Alabama bench, and his post-game interview with Coach Nick Saban (which we'll add video of if it pops up) was a fun juxtaposition of a famously priggish coach with his blubbery QB. Saban was nonplussed, but got through it by touching his hair a lot.

LSU falls to 7-2 (3-2 SEC), and Alabama looks just about unstoppable on the road the national championship. They'll face a challenge from Texas A&M next week, but if you can get out of Death Valley after having been down with a minute remaining, you're probably good to go.

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