LSU falls to No. 3 Alabama, 24-15

Michael Tortorich
LSU running back Stevan Ridley runs for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Ridley finished with 73 rushing yards against Tulane.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – No. 9 LSU lost quarterback Jordan Jefferson and running back Charles Scott in the second half, along with the lead over No. 3 Alabama, as the Crimson Tide took a 24-15 win Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama (9-0, 4-2 SEC) earned a rematch with No. 1 Florida for the league championship in defeating the Tigers (7-2, 4-2).

LSU running back Stevan Ridley stepped in for the injured Scott, and scored on an 8-yard run to give the Tigers a 15-10 lead late in the third quarter. Scott left the game after racking up 83 rushing yards on 13 tries.

LSU had the ball after its defense forced Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy into an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone, which was called a safety.

Alabama rolled in the fourth with 14 unanswered points, including a 73-yard catch and run by wide receiver Julio Jones that gave the Tide a 21-15 lead. Kicker Leigh Tiffin added field goals of 20 and 40 yards.

Jefferson went 10-of-17 passing for 114 yards and a touchdown to Deangelo Peterson on a 12-yard throw. Peterson's score capped a 91-yard drive in the second quarter. It also put the first points of the game on the scoreboard, as the teams battled to a scoreless first quarter.

Backup quarterback Jarrett Lee stepped in for Jefferson, but failed to rally the Tigers as he went 4-of-10 passing for 44 yards and an interception on LSU's final possession.

Alabama out-gained LSU 452 yards to 253. The Tide held the Tigers to just nine yards of offense in the fourth.

McElroy finished 19-of-24 passes for 276y yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Alabama running back Mark Ingram ran for 106 yards in the second half, giving him a total of 144 yards on 22 carries.

Two plays that went in Alabama's favor late in the game helped the Tide hang on to the victory. The first was a penalty against LSU for running into the punter, which gave Alabama a short fourth-down conversion. The second was when LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson appeared to have intercepted a McElroy pass. The play was ruled incomplete, and after review, the officials ruled that Peterson was out of bounds and the ruling on the field stood. Alabama maintained possession and was able to drive for a 40-yard field goal.

LSU returns to Tiger Stadium Saturday to face Louisiana Tech. The homecoming game is set for 6 p.m., and will be televised on ESPNU.