Nov. 6, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama linebacker Marvin Constant and cornerback Reggie Myles stopped LSU quarterback Josh Booty inches from the goal-line on the game's final play as the Crimson Tide held off a late Tigers rally to preserve a 23-17 win in front of a packed house at Bryant-Denny Stadium and a regional television audience.
Trailing 23-17 with 2:23 left in the game, the Tigers took over at their own 20-yard line marched down the field for what would have been a game-winning touchdown. Booty completed an 11-yard pass to Josh Reed and then a 15-yard pass to Reggie Robinson, moving the ball to the Tigers' 46-yard line.
Booty misfired on his next two attempts, leaving the Tigers with a third-and-10. The third-down pass was also incomplete, but Alabama was penalized five yards for being off sides. Booty then teamed up with Reed for a 22-yard completion to the Tide 27, giving LSU a new set of downs. Booty fired a nine-yard pass to Domanick Davis and needed another third-down completion to Jerel Myers to keep the drive alive at the UA 12.
After an incomplete pass and then multiple timeouts by Alabama, Booty hit Joe Domingeaux with an 11-yard strike to the 1-yard line. An injury to Alabama defensive end Kenny Smith momentarily stopped the clock, but once the ball was put back in play, Booty called his own number and was stopped inches short of the end zone by Constant and Myles as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
The win was costly for the Alabama defense, which lost four starters in the game, including three with season-ending injuries. Linebacker Canary Knight suffered a broken leg in the first quarter and Smith and Constant suffered knee injuries on the final two plays of the game. Defensive back Tony Dixon was also injured in the game and did not return, but he played in the Tide's final four games.
Alabama held LSU to 208 total yards, including 32 rushing yards in the win. Constant led the defensive effort with 10 tackles and three tackles for loss, while defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin added eight tackles and two tackle behind the line. In all, Alabama recorded 12 tackles for loss and 13 quarterback pressures in the win.
LSU jumped out to an early lead on Booty's 15-yard TD pass to Myers with 7:27 left in the first quarter. The Tigers used an 8-play, 64-yard drive following an Alabama missed field goal for its only lead of the game.
From there, Alabama took control and scored the next 23 points to take a 16-point lead into the final quarter.
The Crimson Tide scored on its first and last possession of the second quarter to take a 10-7 halftime lead. Shaun Alexander, who had 14 carries for 18 yards, scored on a 1-yard run with 12:27 left in the second quarter to cap an impressive 22-play, 80-yard drive that milked 9:56 off the clock. Ryan Pflugner's 31-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
The Crimson Tide tacked on two more touchdowns in the third quarter to build a 23-7 lead. Quarterback Tyler Watts, who completed 23-of-36 passes for 203 yards and two interceptions, threw his first of two touchdown passes when he hooked up with Jason McAddley on an 18-yard scoring strike on the Tide's first possession of the second half.
Later in the quarter, Watts threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Milons give the Tide a seemingly comfortable 23-7 lead with 3:07 left in the quarter. The touchdown pass was set up by Marcus Spencer's 52-yard interception return to the LSU 7-yard line.
Alabama piled up 351 yards of offense in the win with a somewhat balanced attack. The Tide ran for 151 yards and the two quarterbacks completed 20 of 43 passes for 203 yards. The Crimson Tide also had four turnovers, including three interceptions, and missed two field goals.
LSU turned the ball over on its next possession when Myles intercepted a pass at the LSU 48-yard line.
Alabama moved the ball to the LSU 20-yard line and seemed poised to put the game away before backup quarterback Andrew Zow's third-down pass was intercepted by LSU defensive end Johnny Mitchell and returned 66-yards for a touchdown giving the Tigers new life with 26 seconds left in the quarter. John Corbello's extra point closed the gap to 23-14.
The Tigers took advantage of another Alabama turnover as Corbello added a 32-yard field goal that closed the gap to six points with just over seven minutes to play.
Alabama's next possession ended with a missed field goal at the LSU 9-yard line with just over two minutes to play, giving the Tigers one last chance at victory, but the defense stood tall on this day and held the Tigers out of the end zone on the final play of the game.