Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, rear, congratulates running back T.J. Yeldon (4) after the two hooked up for the winning touchdown to defeat LSU 21-17. (AP photo by Bill Haber)
Alabama’s 21-17 win over LSU drew plenty of reporters, including several from outside the South. We’re giving you a sample of what they wrote:
The New York Times
BATON ROUGE, La. — Death Valley went quiet. And above the lull, an unexpected, unbridled joy came from the southeast corner of Tiger Stadium. With pride and might, some called, “Roll Tide.” T. J. Yeldon had scored. Zach Mettenberger’s second half had been ruined. Louisiana State’s revenge was iced.
A J McCarron had shown poise, leading a 51-second scoring drive. Earlier, he had scrambled down the throat of the L.S.U. defense for a touchdown and had pointed to that corner. The Crimson Tide fans there erupted nearly as loudly as the whole stadium had when Yeldon scored.
Roll Tide, roll.
No. 1 Alabama’s defense was battered for 435 yards. McCarron was essentially negated in the second half, until that stunning final drive. The Crimson Tide had trailed for all of 15 seconds this season, early in a what turning into a romp of Ole Miss in late September. Saturday, Alabama stayed undefeated, beating No. 5 L.S.U., 21-17, in the cruelest of ways, when those in Death Valley were certain victory was near.
“I was thinking, ‘I can’t believe this; did that really happen?’ It seemed not real,” Alabama center Barrett Jones said.
Los Angeles Times
BATON ROUGE, La. — Until they break up the Bowl Championship Series in two years, the only thing left to do is shake it up.
Les Miles and Nick Saban after the game. (AP photo by Gerald Herbert)
Tiger Stadium, on a Saturday night, seemed a perfect place to do it.
Pittsburgh had a similar thought at South Bend and USC actually came close to running down Oregon’s rabbits at the Coliseum.
Almost, though, never counts in the BCS.
In the end, the top four undefeated teams remained undefeated and so now we move forward to next week.
Pittsburgh let a 20-6 lead slip away against Notre Dame and Louisiana State let the biggest catfish, Alabama, slip off the hook.
“It’s tough,” LSU Coach Les Miles said. “You know there’s a game there you could have had. There’s some sick guys in that room.”
BATON ROUGE, La. – As the roars were building in Tiger Stadium and the season-altering upset edged ever closer to reality, nausea set in for Tony McCarron in the Alabama cheering section.
“Honestly,” the father of Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron said, “we were about to throw up.”
But down on the field in the Crimson Tide huddle, 72 yards from the end zone and down three points with just 94 seconds left, there was no sickness. There was only calm amid the deafening chaos, as the loudest stadium in America reached peak decibel levels. This was the two-minute drill ‘Bama practices every Thursday come to life, the chance for ingrained habits to overcome insane nerves.
Center Barrett Jones recalled someone in the huddle saying, “We’ve got a chance to make history. Who’s going to be the one who makes history?”
Let the record show that the historic play was A.J. to T.J. for the TD.
New York Daily News
BATON ROUGE, La. — Top-ranked Alabama has been such an overwhelming force in college football this season, the Tide is drawing comparisons to the late Bear Bryant’s 1979 team that went 12-0, only gave up 67 points and defeated Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl to win its second consecutive national championship.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier went as far as to suggest this Alabama team could compete in the NFL.
“Alabama, gosh, they look like they could beat a couple of those NFL teams that I’ve watched on Sundays,” Spurrier said this week on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “I think a lot of the odds makers out there that usually know what’s going on, I’d guess Alabama would be favored by a little bit.”
That still seems a little far fetched to us.
But it is hard to believe there is any team in college football can roll back the Tide for four quarters. Alabama came into the most intimidating atmosphere in what is easily the best conference in the country last night and rallied for a darmatic 21-17 victory over fifth-ranked LSU here in an SEC West showdown, breaking the Tigers’ 22 game winning streak before a record sellout crowd of 93,374 at Tigers Stadium.
BATON ROUGE, La. – Just when it looked like the rest of the nation could breathe, Alabama did what Alabama does.
And that means the SEC still is the team to beat in the BCS National Championship race.
They tried to cannibalize each other on this cool night on the Bayou, but the Tide wouldn’t let it happen. The SEC still is king, and the rest of the nation still is playing catch up.
All it took was a 28-yard touchdown pass from AJ McCarron to T.J. Yeldon with 51 seconds to play for a 21-17 victory over LSU. Until then, LSU had given the rest of the nation reason to believe the SEC’s streak of six straight national championships was over.
BATON ROUGE, La. — Before Alabama center Barrett Jones trotted onto the field for the No. 1 Crimson Tide’s season-defining drive at No. 5 LSU on Saturday night, he offered offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland one final suggestion.
“Hey, don’t forget about the screen,” Jones told Stoutland.
With about 1½ minutes to play, LSU had a 17-14 lead and was threatening to knock off defending BCS national champion Alabama, which probably would have ended the SEC’s hopes of winning a seventh consecutive national title.
Along with most of a record crowd of 93,374 fans at Tiger Stadium, college football fans from Eugene, Ore., to Manhattan, Kan., to South Bend, Ind., (and everywhere else outside the Southeast) were probably roaring for the Tigers to make one more defensive stop.
The Advocate of Baton Rouge
LSU couldn’t finish what would have been one of the most significant victories in Tiger Stadium history Saturday night just as it couldn’t finish what would have been the most significant season in school history 10 months earlier.
The Tigers were on the verge of avenging a 21-0 loss to Alabama in the BCS Championship game in January, but AJ McCarron drove the Crimson Tide 72 yards and threw a 28-yard touchdown pass with 51 seconds left to give the defending national champion a 21-17 victory in front of a Tiger Stadium-record crowd of 93,374.
“We let this get away,” LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery said. “We had tons of opportunities to maximize in the game. But we couldn’t put them away. Sometimes, it’s not the best team, but it’s the most disciplined team. It’s tough. It was slow death.”
The New Orleans Times-Picayune
Baton Rouge — No. 1-ranked Alabama broke LSU’s heart for the second consecutive meeting but in an entirely different fashion. Instead of squeezing it slowly for four quarters, the Tide ripped it out of the Tigers’ collective chest, taking with it what looked like a stunning LSU upset Saturday night before a record paid crowd of 93,374 in Tiger Stadium.
AJ McCarron’s 28-yard screen pass for a touchdown to T.J. Yeldon with 51 seconds remaining rescued the struggling Tide for a 21-17 victory that will be as hard to forget as the 21-0 crush job in last season’s BCS title game.
“Our football team came in here to play to win,” LSU Coach Les Miles said afterward. “We went after it, and thought we played extremely hard. There are some sick guys back there.”
American Press of Lake Charles, La.
BATON ROUGE — Les Miles was right: championship dreams do die inside Tiger Stadium.
He just didn’t know he was talking about his own team’s dreams.
On Saturday night, it was the fifth-ranked Tigers who had their national championship aspirations proclaimed dead in Death Valley. And Miles had no idea just how hard of a death it would be.
Top-ranked Alabama cut the heart out of Tiger Nation with a 21-17 comeback victory before a record crowd of 93,374 crazed fans.
It was the third time in the last year that the two teams have played, with Alabama winning the last two, including the Bowl Championship Series national title game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans.
BATON ROUGE — Apparently it takes just 43 seconds to crash a party in Baton Rouge. Moments after it appeared LSU would rock No. 1-ranked Alabama, the SEC and national-championship pictures, the Crimson Tide streaked down the field at Tiger Stadium late Saturday.
A stunning 28-yard touchdown on a screen pass from A.J. McCarron to T.J. Yeldon completed a dagger-filled, five-play drive as Alabama rallied to stun a Tiger Stadium record crowd of 93,000-plus and the No. 5 Tigers, 21-17.
The loss snapped LSU’s 22-game home winning streak.
Alabama (9-0, 6-0) maintains control of its BCS National Championship Game destiny while the Tigers (7-2, 3-2) may be out of the BCS picture altogether.
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