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First Saturday in November: LSU vs. Alabama Rivalry through the Years

LSU vs Alabama Rivalry
Image Credit: Cody Slovensky

They first played each other way back in 1895. Since 1964, they have met each year on the gridiron, ready for a war. From Paul “Bear” Bryant to Nick Saban, Charlie McClendon to Brian Kelly. The LSU-Alabama football rivalry is one of the best in college football. And fans have not been disappointed as the games that have played out before them have been worth the price of admission, win or lose.

Alabama has claimed 18 national titles in football, including six under the legendary Bear Bryant and six under current head coach Nick Saban.

As in any great rivalry, there have been some epic battles over the years. Let’s take a look back at some notable games in this storied rivalry.

1964: #3 Alabama 17 - #8 LSU 9

Bear Bryant said this about recruiting the quarterback of his 1964 team: “It was the best coaching decision I ever made.” That quarterback was a young man from Beaver Falls, PA named Joe Namath.

In the ’64 game, LSU scored first on a TD pass from Billy Ezell to Doug Moreau to take an early 6-0 lead. Alabama answered with a TD run by Steve Bowman to put the Tide up 7-6. The Tigers converted a field goal and took a 9-7 lead into the locker room.

Alabama outscored LSU 10-0 in the 4th quarter after being held scoreless in the 3rd quarter. The Tide converted a field goal try and returned an INT for a touchdown for the 17-9 victory.

67,749 fans were in the stands that day, which at the time was the largest crowd ever to see a football game in the State of Alabama.

1967: Alabama 7 – LSU 6

Alabama, led by QB Ken Stabler, did not score until the 4th quarter. LSU answered but missed the extra point and was down by a point 7-6. LSU kicker Roy Hurd had been suspended the week prior and missed a field goal attempt earlier in the game.

Later, with 0:03 left on the clock, the Tigers attempted a 43-yard field goal to win the game. However, the play ended up being an 8-yard pass play as the clock struck zero. Turnovers plagued both teams, with an INT by Stabler and two lost fumbles by LSU.

1982: #10 LSU 20 - #7 Alabama 10

In Bear Bryant’s final season in Tuscaloosa, LSU traveled to take on the Crimson Tide at Legion Field in Birmingham. Alabama fans anointed the venue ‘The Football Capital of the South.” LSU was coached by “Mr. Everything” Jerry Stovall, a former LSU standout. Stovall was voted SEC Player of the Year and runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 1962.

LSU made their presence known early on defense by forcing an Alabama fumble, but could not convert the turnover into points. But after a scoreless 1st quarter, the Tigers poured it on and led 17-0 at halftime. RB Dalton Hilliard and QB Alan Risher. Hilliard scored on a TD run and Risher was 20 of 26 passing for 182 yards and a touchdown.

The Tigers held the Crimson Tide to just 32 total yards and zero first downs in the first half, and 119 total yards for the game to get their first win over Alabama in 11 years.

Sadly, Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant passed away just two months later.

2010: #12 LSU 24- #5 Alabama 21

LSU deployed a balanced attack (225 yards rushing, 208 yards passing) and forced two Crimson Tide turnovers to take down fifth-ranked Alabama. RB Stevan Ridley rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown, and WR Rueben Randle caught three passes for 125 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown catch. In addition, kicker Josh Jasper converted three field goals to pace the Tigers.

2011: #1 LSU 9 - #2 Alabama 6 (OT)

The “Game of the Century” was a Battle of the Kickers as each team traded field goals due to the outstanding defense played by both teams. Alabama was held to less than 100 yards rushing, while LSU was held to less than 100 yards passing. And each team committed two turnovers. LSU’s Eric Reid made an outstanding play on the ball and made an interception near the goal line to kill an Alabama scoring opportunity.

With the score tied at 6-6 at the end of regulation, LSU’s Drew Alleman nailed a 25-yard field goal to give the Tigers the win.

LSU and Alabama would meet again later in the BCS National Championship Game, where Alabama dominated the Tigers to earn a 21-0 victory and more hardware for their trophy case.

2015: #7 Alabama 30 - #4 LSU 16

The Crimson Tide held a slim 13-10 at halftime, then outscored LSU 17-6 in the 2nd half to get the victory. Alabama held the Tigers to 182 total yards. RB Leonard Fournette was held to 31 yards rushing and QB Brandon Harris completed just 31% of his passes in a losing effort.

Alabama RB Derrick Henry rushed for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Henry went on to win the Heisman Trophy.

2019: #1 LSU 46 - #2 Alabama 41

Alabama entered the game as -4.5-point home favorites. But QB Joe Burrow and the potent LSU offense had other plans. The Tigers gained 559 yards of total offense against the Crimson Tide defense. LSU RB Clyde-Edwards Helaire scored three rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown, and Burrow passed for 393 yards and three touchdowns.

LSU’s 46 points were the most scored against Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Burrow went on to win the Heisman Trophy and led LSU to a national championship win over Clemson.

2022: #15 LSU 32 - #6 Alabama 31 (OT)

LSU led 7-6 at halftime after a scoreless 1st quarter. The Tigers held QB Bryce Young to a 49% completion percentage, 1 TD, and 1 INT. LSU QB Jayden Daniels completed 22 of 32 passes (68%) for 182 yards and two TDs. In addition, Daniels added 95 rushing yards and a score. The game went into overtime tied at 24 all.

Alabama scored first in the extra period to go up 31-24. On the Tigers possession, Daniels scored on a 25-yard run to get within one point at 31-30. Daniels then found TE Mason Taylor at the goal line for a 2-point conversion and an epic win in Tiger Stadium.


Marc Tullis
Marc Tullis

As per usual, I find I love Tony's thoughts and presentation. I would consider this one to be as good as it gets, except... he mentions too many Alabama wins. Please, Mr. Thomas! No more reminders of those frustrating losses to the Gumps! (But thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for not bringing up that 2011 national championship game in New Orleans.)

Tony Thomas
Tony Thomas

Thank you brother!!!

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