LSU Defeats Alabama

LSU senior quarterback Joe Burrow (9) and football coach Ed Orgeron celebrate after the Tigers' 46-41 victory over Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019.

At the start of LSU Football's 2019 season, expectations were high for the program after a 10-3 finish to the 2018 season that ended with a 40-32 win over No. 7 UCF in the Fiesta Bowl. Talks of the offense being revamped by passing game/co-offensive coordinator Joe Brady sparked hope that the Tigers would finally have an offense to match the defense. 

Aug. 31: vs. Georgia Southern

Result: W 55-3

The Tigers opened the season against Sun Belt power Georgia Southern. The Eagles, coming off a 10-win season in 2018, had high expectations themselves. Georgia Southern ran a triple option/shotgun option-style offense, presenting LSU with an offense scheme they hadn't faced since 2008. The Tigers had no trouble containing the option, holding Georgia Southern to 98 total yards and only eight first downs. Offensively for LSU, Joe Burrow gave a example of things to come, throwing for 278 yards and five touchdowns.

Sept. 7: @ #9 Texas

Result: W 45-38

After easing into the season, LSU faced a Texas team that at the time was expected to contend for the Big 12 title. The Tigers played a tight game to the end, as Texas' offense roared to life in the second half. But thanks to late-game heroics from Burrow, LSU escaped with a win keeping their perfect season intact.

Sept. 14: vs. Northwestern State

Result: W 65-14

While the Tigers started slow, the offense had a wake-up call in the second half scoring 41 points and easily dispatching in-state FCS opponent Northwestern State. While the level of competition had to be taken into account, seeing an LSU offense score 65 points was a welcome sight for Tiger fans.

Sept. 21: @ Vanderbilt

Result: W 66-38

The Tigers offensive explosion continued in Nashville, but a glaring issue came to light: the defense. LSU allowed 38 points to a Vanderbilt team that would finish the season with three wins. Burrow threw for 398 yards and six touchdowns. Ja'Marr Chase hauled in ten passes for 229 yards and four touchdowns.

Oct. 5: vs. Utah State

Result: W 42-6

Against a more competitive non-conference opponent, LSU imposed its will on both offense and defense, playing perhaps its most complete game of the season in a dominant win over a Utah State team led by NFL prospect quarterback Jordan Love. Burrow became the first LSU quarterback to top 300 passing yards in four consecutive games. On the defensive side, Derek Stingley, Grant Delpit and Kary Vincent added interceptions.

Oct. 12: vs. #7 Florida

Result: W 42-28

The Tigers first test in the Southeastern Conference came against bitter rival Florida, who had a somewhat rocky start to the season, but were still undefeated coming into Tiger Stadium. Adding to the game's intrigue was that LSU hosted ESPN's College Gameday. Florida wouldn't leave undefeated however, as LSU's offense took over in the fourth quarter and the defense held tight to give the Tigers a multi-score win.

Oct. 19: @ Mississippi State

Result: W 36-13

Against a team that had given LSU trouble in the past, the Tigers didn't waste any time putting the game out of reach in Starkville with a 22-7 halftime lead. The offense sputtered somewhat compared to earlier games, but nonetheless did enough to support a strong defensive performance. Burrow's four touchdown passes on the day would give the senior quarterback LSU's single-season passing touchdown record.

Oct. 26: vs. #9 Auburn

Result: W 23-20

It was the biggest game to the season at this point, and another top-10 battle for LSU. Auburn provided a tough test for the Tigers before their bye and date with Alabama. Auburn didn't go away throughout, similar to the Texas game. LSU's offense couldn't figure out Auburn's defense, but a late Burrow scramble for a touchdown was enough to eke out a victory.

Nov. 9: @ #3 Alabama

Result: W 46-41

The game of the century pt. 2, one vs. two, insert any phrase you need to describe the magnitude of the game. LSU seemingly finally had the offensive firepower to overthrow the Crimson Tide machine. And after the final seconds rolled off the clock, it was clear they did. Alabama had no answer for junior running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the rest of the Tiger offense, and LSU's defense again did just enough to get over the Bama hump.

Nov. 16: @ Ole Miss

Result: W 58-37

In what would seemingly be an easy dispatching of little brother Ole Miss, LSU struggled with containing quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, who rushed for 212 yards and four touchdowns. The Tigers thankfully had an answer on offense as Burrow and company were unstoppable, scoring on nearly every drive. While the final score looked comfortable, the result was anything but.

Nov. 23: vs. Arkansas

Result: 56-20, W

A very poor Arkansas team provided no resistance to a far-superior Tiger team. The offense had its way with a very weak Razorback defense. Another year, another easy win.

Nov. 30: vs.. Texas A&M

Result: W 50-7

There was no question that while Texas A&M had failed to live up to expectations this season, LSU still had Nov. 30 circled on the calendar after last years' seven-overtime loss and the ensuing post-game problems on the field. The Tigers gave no quarter and dominated from start to finish in what was clearly a statement victory for the squad.

Dec. 7: vs. #4 Georgia (SEC Championship Game)

Result: W 37-10 

With the top seed for the College Football Playoff hanging in the balance, LSU faced a tough, but depleted, Georgia team. The Bulldogs had a formidable defense but an offense that lacked weapons in the pass game to support junior quarterback Jake Fromm. LSU's offense had it's way with Georgia despite their defense being touted as one of the best in the country. Burrow was right around his season average for completion percentage while Edwards-Helaire combined for 118 total yards. The Tigers took care of business and secured the all important one seed for the College Football Playoff.

Dec. 28: vs. #4 Oklahoma (CFP Semifinal, Peach Bowl)

Result: W 63-28

With a Heisman finalist in senior quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Oklahoma Sooners without question had the offensive arsenal to score against LSU. But unfortunately for the Sooners, the Tigers' defense had game planned perfectly for Hurts, only allowing one touchdown per quarter. The Tigers' offense overshadowed the defensive effort, and with good reason. Burrow exploded for his best game of the season, throwing an absurd seven touchdowns and 493 yards. Junior receiver Justin Jefferson had one of the best receiving games a Tiger has ever had, with 14 catches for 227 yards and four touchdowns en route to a dismantling of the Sooners and a date with Clemson in LSU's first National Championship appearance since 2012.

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