9 - 6 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Still on top: LSU needs OT to beat No. 2 Alabama

Nov 6, 2011 - 4:37 AM Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) - The most recent edition of the "Game of the Century" was fittingly decided in overtime, as the top-ranked LSU Tigers took advantage of Alabama's shaky kicking game to edge the No. 2 Crimson Tide, 9-6.

Drew Alleman's 25-yard field goal in the extra session ended college football's first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in five years, but only after Alabama missed its fourth field goal in the defensive slugfest.

"We just didn't execute well enough in certain situations and did not take advantage of some of the opportunities that we had," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who served as LSU's head coach from 2000-04.

Cade Foster was unsuccessful on three kicks, including a 52-yard try after the Tide (8-1, 5-1 SEC) went backwards on the first possession of OT.

Michael Ford's 15-yard run set up the game-winner and put the Tigers (9-0, 6-0) in the driver's seat in the SEC West and the BCS national title race.

Jordan Jefferson saw a majority of snaps under center for LSU after Jarrett Lee threw a pair of interceptions. Jefferson completed 6-of-10 passes for 67 yards and added 43 yards on the ground, while Ford gained 72 yards on 11 carries.

"We just felt...that the couple of scrambles Jefferson had made the difference and moved the chains. That gave us a huge advantage," LSU head coach Les Miles said.

Trent Richardson shouldered the load for Alabama, amassing 169 yards from scrimmage. A.J. McCarron threw for 199 yards with an interception on 16-of-28 attempts in defeat.

The matchup was the first of its kind in SEC regular season history and was full of suspense despite neither team finding the end zone.

The closest LSU got was at the end of the first half, when an Alabama holding penalty gave the Tigers 1st-and-goal from the two before they settled for a 19-yard Alleman field goal just before intermission.

The kick came after Jeremy Shelley broke the scoreless tie with a 34-yard field goal with 3:53 showing.

Interceptions led to another exchange of field goals in the second half.

Lee, on his first snap since getting picked off in the second quarter, threw into double coverage and was intercepted by Mark Barron, whose 34-yard return down to the LSU five-yard line was negated by a block in the back penalty.

Foster, after missing two kicks in the first half, was called on again and this time snuck in his 46-yard attempt inside the left upright with 7:56 remaining in the third.

The Tide forced another punt in their territory on LSU's next possession, but Morris Claiborne stepped in front of a McCarron pass along the right sideline and took the ball back to the Alabama 15.

Three runs netted just two yards for LSU, and Alleman knocked in a 30-yarder on the second play of the fourth to tie it.

Richardson's 24-yard jaunt penetrated Tigers territory on the ensuing possession, but a trick play ended in disaster for the Tide. Wide receiver Marquis Maze was lined up in shotgun formation and faked a run before targeting an open Michael Williams near the goal line.

The tight end had to wait for Maze's lob, allowing safety Eric Reid to make a play on the ball. Williams appeared to make a leaping catch at the one, but Reid stole the ball away before hitting the ground for a pivotal turnover.

Alabama forced a three-and-out, but Maze opted not to field Brad Wing's booming punt, resulting in a 73-yard kick, one of four Wing pinned inside the 20.

The teams traded punts, and the Tide played for overtime after getting the ball back at their own 20 with 52 seconds on the clock.

"It was a great battle tonight. We gave the fans and the world a good show tonight," Tigers safety Brandon Taylor said.

Richardson gave Alabama plenty of chances to score in the first half. The hulking back gained 18 and 22 yards on the first two plays from scrimmage to reach LSU's 30-yard line, only to have Foster push his 44-yard attempt wide right a little later.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw said. "It just came down to who executed on the chances that they had. They did."

Foster was short and to the right on a 50-yard try late in the opening stanza, and Alabama gave Shelley a chance following a Lee interception.

Shelley, though, had his 49-yard attempt blocked by Bennie Logan, and the score remained scoreless until Richardson turned a short swing pass into a 39- yard gain to get into Shelley's field goal range.

Richardson was knocked out of bounds at the LSU 19-yard line after breaking a pair of arm tackles, and Shelley split the uprights from 34 yards out for the game's first points.

LSU had not trailed since the second quarter of its season opener against Oregon.

Two of the Tigers' first three possessions ended with punts in enemy territory, but they got on the board before the half thanks in part to Russell Shepard hauling in a 29-yard pass from Jefferson.

Game Notes

The previous No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in college football pitted Ohio State and Michigan in November, 2006...It was the 23rd meeting of top-ranked teams in the 76-year history of the AP poll...Both teams had won their first eight games this year by double figures and were averaging over 39 points per contest...Lee had thrown just one interception coming in...LSU improved to 19-3 in games played as the No. 1 ranked team...Richardson became the 11th Tide player to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season...LSU plays Western Kentucky next week before wrapping up its conference slate against Ole Miss and Arkansas...Alabama will look to rebound against Mississippi State next Saturday.