By Job Tennant, Sports Radio 610

HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – Brent Musburger said that this game was one of the great defensive performances ever.  Bama shut out LSU, gave up 92 total yards and controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes.  That is all true, but no one can deny how terrible LSU was on offense.

LSU did not cross the midfield line until the 7:30 mark of the fourth quarter.  Jordan Jefferson finished with 53 yards on 11-for-17 passing and 15 yards on 14 carries.  He was awful in every possible way.

However, if you had to define his performance in a single play, it was the interception that he threw.  He was almost sacked but escaped just in time to throw some sort of a shovel pass directly to the Alabama defender C.J. Mosley.  Jefferson then turned to Spencer Ware (his intended receiver) and started screaming at him, apparently for not being five yards away from where he was the whole time.

LSU was supposed to ride a dominant defense and a running game featuring four horses to a win.  That was the Tigers’ theory coming into the game.  However, the offensive line failed to open up a single hole in the game.  The Tigers finished with 39 yards on 27 attempts.  That means if the Tigers rushed six consecutive times, they still would not have a first down.

Yes, Alabama deserves a ton of credit.  The Tide have an excellent defense and one for the ages, but it is hard to ignore how bad the LSU offense was.  There were multiple snaps that Jefferson couldn’t handle for one reason or another.  Regardless of the reason, that is the single most fundamental thing that any offense can do, and LSU clearly struggled with it.

If there is anything more fundamental, it is not having false start penalties, which they obviously struggled with as well. In fact LSU had five penalties for 35 yards.  That accounts for more than one-third of its total offense of 92 yards.  If your penalty yardage total is more than a third of your total yardage mark, there is simply no way you can expect to win.

To put that in perspective, the Packers (essentially the No. 1 team in the regular season just like LSU) had  76 penalties for 591 yards. Compare that to their total offensive output of 6,482 yards. The Pack’s penalty yardage total was 10 times smaller than its total yardage total.

It was a sloppy game for LSU, and nothing went right.  In the end there is little that can be said except that Alabama dominated and LSU was embarrassed.


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