The last 7 years has seen plenty of close LSU vs. Alabama games. Saturday night, the score was not close, as Alabama rolled past LSU for a 38-17 victory.

It wasn't as if the Tigers didn't have their chances. In fact, LSU won at the line of scrimmage for the majority of the first half. After forcing the Tide to punt on their first possession, the Tigers drove down the field with relative ease. Fullback JC Copeland appeared to be trotting into the end zone for the first points of the game, as quarterback Zach Mettenberger lifted his arms in the air to signal touchdown. It was all premature, as Tide senior linebacker Tana Patrick reached toward Copeland's outside arm and poked the ball loose, and it was recovered by Alabama. Inches away from six points, LSU fumbled away a lead, and fumbled away momentum.

On the following LSU possession, they turned it over again as the Tigers snapped the ball at Mettenberger's feet when he was audibling out of the shotgun. Alabama recovered, didn't move the ball, but took a 3 point lead 4 plays later.

LSU answered with an impressive drive, taking a 7-3 lead on a Jeremy Hill 3 yard touchdown run.

With recaptured momentum, the Tigers muffed another opportunity. On the ensuing drive, Alabama faced a 3rd and 8 at their own 40. LSU defensive back Rashard Robinson was called for pass interference. Rather than punt, the Tide moved the chains, and scored on an impressive 52 yard touchdown the following play. Tide quarterback AJ McCarron hooked up with freshmen tight end O.J. Howard, who outran four members of LSU's secondary. With a 10-7 lead, the Tide would never trail again.

"You can't turn the ball over," explained LSU coach Les Miles. "It cost us a terrible start."

Both teams scored touchdowns before halftime, and LSU tied the game on the opening drive of the second half with a 41 yard Colby Delahoussaye field goal. Following that score, Alabama shut down the Tiger offense the rest of the game.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Tide offense won the line of scrimmage in the second half, using a blend of passing from McCarron and running from running back TJ Yeldon. Yeldon finished with 133 yards and two touchdowns.

"I was not prepared for this," said Miles. "I felt like we would've played better. Alabama separated themselves from us tonight."

Alabama ran for 193 yards, compared to LSU's 43.

Mettenberger put up admirable numbers, throwing for 241 and 1 score on 16-23.

McCarron was steady and smart as usual, tossing 2 touchdowns on 14-20 for 179 yards.

"All he does is win and does what his team needs for him to do," Alabama coach Nick Saban said McCarron. "I think the guy is the best quarterback in the country."

With the loss #13 LSU falls to 7-3 overall, and 3-3 in SEC play. #1 Alabama remains undefeated at 9-0, and 6-0 in conference play.

The Tigers are open next week  before hosting Texas A&M (8-2, 4-2) on November 23rd. Alabama travels to Starkville next Saturday for a matchup with the 4-5 Mississippi State Bulldogs.