November 4, 2018 / 3:49 AM / in 12 days

No. 1 Alabama routs No. 3 LSU, clinches SEC title game berth

EditorsNote: Edit 1: Clarifies conference record in Graf 2

Sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa passed for 295 yards, threw two touchdowns and raced 44 yards for another score, and the Alabama defense smothered LSU’s offense to power the No. 1 Crimson Tide to a 29-0 shutout over the No. 3 Tigers on Saturday night at Baton Rouge, La.

Alabama (9-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) held LSU (7-2, 4-2) to just 196 yards in total offense. With the win, the Tide clinched a spot in the SEC title game.

Alabama was the last team to shut out LSU, doing it two years ago in a 10-0 victory at Tiger Stadium.

Tagovailoa completed 25 of 42 passes and iced the game with his 44-yard scramble on third down that put the Tide on top 22-0 with 5:14 left in the third quarter.

Alabama got its final touchdown on a 1-yard run by Damien Harris with 5:42 left in the game.

The Tide amassed 576 total yards and held a 29-13 edge in first downs. Alabama finished off the shutout by intercepting LSU quarterback Joe Burrow in the end zone with 3:35 left.

Despite failing to score on its opening possession for the first time this season, Alabama’s offense dominated the first half as the Crimson Tide jumped out to a 16-0 lead. LSU mustered only 67 yards on 29 plays — including minus-1 yard rushing — while Alabama rolled up 325 yards.

Tagovailoa was the key, sliding deftly in the pocket to avoid pressure and completing 20 of 31 passes for 205 yards and two scores in the first half. His touchdown passes came on a 15-yard slant to Henry Ruggs III on Alabama’s second series and a 25-yard throw to tight end Irv Smith Jr. with 1:15 left in the half.

Kicker Joseph Bulovas, who missed an extra point due to a bad hold after the first touchdown, added a 23-yard field goal between the two early touchdowns.

Tagovailoa showed grit after taking a wicked shot near his sore right knee from safety Grant Delpit, but after sitting out a play, he returned to the game. Delpit later was called for targeting on a tough hit on Ruggs at the goal line, but the targeting call was waved off after a replay review.

LSU played press coverage, but Alabama took advantage by running the ball on the edge. Harris gained 61 yards on nine first-half carries and finished the game at 107 yards.

—Field Level Media

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