Scores

Final

(5) Alabama 21

(7-2, 4-2 SEC)

(12) LSU 24

(8-1, 5-1 SEC)

Coverage: CBS

3:30 PM ET, November 6, 2010

Tiger Stadium (LA), Baton Rouge, LA

1 2 3 4 T
#5ALA 0 7 7 721
#12LSU 3 0 7 1424

Top Performers

Passing: G. McElroy (ALA) - 223 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: M. Ingram (ALA) - 21 CAR, 97 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: R. Randle (LSU) - 3 REC, 125 YDS, 1 TD

Coach Les Miles' key fourth down call helps LSU pull upset

Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- As Les Miles' latest stab at fourth-down trickery was about to unfold, the LSU coach bent down, snatched up some blades of grass -- and ate them.

"I have a little tradition that humbles me as a man, that lets me know that I'm a part of the field and part of the game," Miles said as a smile widened on his face. "You should have seen some games before this. I can tell you one thing: The grass in Tiger Stadium tastes best."

What Miles saw next was even sweeter for him than anything coming out of the sprawling sugar cane fields only a few miles away. DeAngelo Peterson went 23 yards with a reverse on fourth-and-1 to set up Stevan Ridley's go-ahead 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter, and LSU (No. 10 BCS, No. 12 AP) held on for a 24-21 upset of the Crimson Tide (No. 6 BCS, No. 5 AP) on Saturday.

The victory added to Miles' growing resume of audacious fourth-down conversions -- the most recent a fake field goal to set up a winning TD at Florida. Miles, who fans call the Mad Hatter, argued his play-calling isn't always as risky as it seems.

"We practice these things. It's not a grab bag," said Miles, who called a timeout before running the play. "This play looked to be there and it was prepared extremely well by our team and it would have been a mistake not to call it."

The triumphant result inspired players to give Miles the game ball and brought roars of approval from fans that for now should drown out any critics still longing for the days when Nick Saban coached LSU.

The victory came at Saban's expense and likely knocked Alabama (7-2, 4-2 SEC) out of contention for a second straight national championship. Now the Crimson Tide will need LSU (8-1, 5-1) to lose twice and Georgia to beat Auburn just to have a shot to repeat as SEC West champions.

"This whole year, everyone around us has been very concerned about the results in comparison to what was accomplished a year ago, and that has not been the best thing for the development of this team," Saban said. "They have become too result-oriented, and we never have developed to become as good a team as we can be. ... How we respond to this will show us what kind of character we have and what kind of pride we have."

LSU remains in the hunt to win the SEC West but is a bit of a long shot because it needs to win out and needs Auburn to lose to Georgia next week and again to Alabama in the Iron Bowl later this month.

LSU twice rallied from second-half deficits, the first time on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Jefferson to Rueben Randle, who also hauled in a 47-yarder by Jarrett Lee to convert a crucial third down in the final minutes.

That allowed the Tigers to keep the ball until only 24 seconds remained and hold on to a three-point lead that seemed tenuous after the Tide had marched 74 yards in only 2:04 to pull within a field goal on Greg McElroy's 9-yard pass to Julio Jones with 3:23 left.

The way things are going for LSU this season, it's not all that shocking when things break the Tigers' way. In addition to the wild finish at Florida, LSU beat Tennessee despite some poor clock management by Miles in the waning seconds.

When they had vanquished the Tide, LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and several teammates jumped into the stands to celebrate with students.

"This is the biggest win since I have been here at LSU," Sheppard said. "I have played in a national championship and that's fine and good, but we had everybody bearing down on us and our head coach. People were saying that there was no way we can beat Alabama. We were underdogs and no one thought we could win. All I have to say is, look at us now."

The loss was a painful one for McElroy, who after the game crouched on the field for about 30 seconds.

"I don't think there's an excuse. They beat us. They really did," McElroy said. "They did a great job. Credit their players and their coaches. We just didn't come out and play the way we should have played."

McElroy completed 21 of 34 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns. But he was intercepted in the first half and fumbled on a sack by Drake Nevis in his own territory in the fourth quarter. Sheppard recovered, leading to Josh Jasper's third field goal, which gave LSU a 10-point lead with under 6 minutes left.

Mark Ingram had 97 yards rushing for Alabama, which came in knowing it would win the SEC if it could win the remainder of its games.

Trent Richardson had a short touchdown for the Tide but was shaken up on the score and played sparingly afterward. Jones, in a heralded matchup with star cornerback Patrick Peterson, caught 10 passes for 89 yards.

Ridley rushed for 88 yards and LSU had 208 yards through the air, with Jefferson going 10 of 13 for 141.

"We haven't been given credit much this whole year," Ridley said. "We are 8-1 and haven't been given any respect. Alabama is the team that everybody hypes up, and yes, they are a great football team, but they didn't even give us a chance. They thought that they were going roll right over us. But this team played with a lot of heart. And man did our quarterbacks play well. They played outstanding."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ALA
LSU
1st Downs1915
Total Yards325433
Passing223208
Rushing102225
Penalties3-255-45
3rd Down Conversions7-146-17
4th Down Conversions0-02-2
Turnovers20
Possession31:1328:47

Passing Leaders

AlabamaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
McElroy21/342236.621
LSUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Jefferson10/1314110.810

Rushing Leaders

AlabamaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Ingram21974.6113
Richardson6284.7022
LSUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Ridley24883.7119
Shepard34715.7041

Receiving Leaders

AlabamaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jones10898.9119
Hanks24020.0018
LSURECYDSAVGTDLG
Randle312541.7175
Toliver34214.0019

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERALALSU
FG09:23Josh Jasper 45 Yd 03
SECOND QUARTERALALSU
TD12:55Trent Richardson 1 Yd Pass From Greg McElroy (Jeremy Shelley Kick) 73
THIRD QUARTERALALSU
TD08:17Rueben Randle 75 Yd Pass From Jordan Jefferson (Josh Jasper Kick) 710
TD02:30Mark Ingram 5 Yd Run (Jeremy Shelley Kick) 1410
FOURTH QUARTERALALSU
FG14:16Josh Jasper 35 Yd 1413
TD08:13Stevan Ridley 1 Yd Run (Jordan Jefferson Pass To Rueben Randle For Two-Point Conversion) 1421
FG05:34Josh Jasper 39 Yd 1424
TD03:23Julio Jones 9 Yd Pass From Greg McElroy (Jeremy Shelley Kick) 2124

Research Notes

With LSU's wins... Auburn would clinch SEC west with win over Georgia next week.. minimizing the effect of the Iron Bowl on the SEC race. Auburn already beat LSU and would need to lose twice for LSU to go to SEC title game

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