Countdown to Kickoff
LSU Defeats Alabama in Season's Home Finale, 27-3


Saturday, November 15, 2003

Charlie Peprah
Charlie Peprah

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LSU 27, Alabama 3

*No. 3 LSU shut down Alabama 27-3 in front of 83,818 fans here at Bryant-Denny Stadium.   The Fighting Tigers have now won two straight games against the Crimson Tide here in Tuscaloosa, including a 35-21 win here in 2001.  The win tonight was LSU's sixth win over Alabama here in Tuscaloosa and fifth since 1988. LSU has wins over UA here in Tuscaloosa came in 1902, 1988, 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2003.

*Following tonight's game, the home team is now 9-24-1 in the Alabama-LSU since the 1970 season. 

*Including tonight's game, the home team has been outscored 72-3 in the last nine quarters in the Alabama-LSU series.

*Alabama still leads the all-time series with LSU, 43-19-5.  Since 1982, the Crimson Tide's holds a narrow 12-9-1 lead over the Tigers.

*LSU has won four of the last six meetings with Alabama here in Tuscaloosa.

*With the loss, Alabama (4-7) is assured of its first losing season since 2000 and its third losing season since 1997.

*The game captains for tonight's LSU game are Zach Fletcher (offense), Derrick Pope (defense) and Lance Taylor (special teams).

*Tonight's game marked the final regular-season game at Bryant-Denny Stadium and the final home game for 22 Crimson Tide senior football players. The list of seniors making their final home appearance are:  Dennis Alexander (Memphis, Tennessee), John Paul Bevel (Homewood), Jonathan Brunson (Samson), Donald Clarke (Boca Raton, Fla.), Nathan Cox (Spanish Fort), Brandon Dean (Mobile), Zach Fletcher (Moulton), Will Fountain (Brewton), Dre Fulgham (Montevallo), Gabe Giardina (Center Hall, Penn.), Brandon Greer (Rainbow City), Mitch Grissett (Red Level), Ted Gryska (Northport), Atlas Herrion (Daphne), Charles Jones (Waynesboro, Ga.), Matt Lomax (Saraland), Triandos Luke (Phenix City), Roberto McBride (Lakeland, Fla.), Nautyn McKay-Loescher (Ontario, Canada), Derrick Pope (Galveston, Texas), Nick Ridings (Roswell, Ga.), Kyle Robinson (Cleburne, Texas), David Scott (Tuscaloosa), David Simmons (Geneva), Josh Smith (Birmingham), Lance Taylor (Calvert), Leslie Williams (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Shaud Williams (Andrews, Texas).

*Tonight's game with LSU is a school record seventh game at Bryant-Denny Stadium this season.  The previous record was six games in 1920 and 2002.

*Alabama went 2-5 here at Bryant-Denny Stadium this season, the most losses in one season since the stadium opened in 1929.  The previous record was four losses set by the 1997 team that finished the season with an 0-4 record here at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

*Alabama is also playing its school-record fourth night game here at Bryant-Denny Stadium this season. The Crimson Tide has also played Oklahoma, Kentucky and Northern Illinois under the lights in Tuscaloosa this season.  Ironically, this is the first-ever night game between Alabama and LSU here in Tuscaloosa.

*Alabama has lost seven of its last eight games against ranked teams here in Bryant-Denny Stadium, including an 0-4 record here this season.  The four losses this year came to No. 1 Oklahoma (20-13), No. 9 Arkansas (34-31, 2ot), No. 22 Tennessee (51-43, 5ot) and No. 3 LSU (27-3).

*Overall, Alabama is 0-5 against ranked teams this season.

*Since 1977, Alabama is now 9-8 against Top 5 foes.  Alabama is 13-18 against ranked opponents here in Bryant-Denny Stadium.  In addition, Alabama is now 4-4 all-time against the No. 3 ranked team.

*Alabama has an 0-4-1 record in night games with LSU here in the state of Alabama.

*Junior Danny Martz (Gaithersburg, Md) started his second straight game at right guard for the injured Dennis Alexander.

*Senior Donald Clarke (Boca Raton, Fla.) made his second start of the 2003 season at tight end.

*LSU became the fourth team to score on its opening possession of the game against Alabama, joining Oklahoma, Arkansas and Ole Miss.  Arkansas is the only one of the four to score a touchdown on its first possession of the game against the Crimson Tide.

*Alabama managed only 65 rushing yards in the loss to LSU, its lowest rushing total of the season.  The previous low was 94 yards in the loss to Georgia in Athens. 

*Alabama senior running back Shaud Williams (Andrews, Texas) ran 11 times for only 29 yards in the loss to LSU.  The 29 yards is the lowest total of the season for Williams.  His previous low was 58 yards on 15 attempts in a 37-23 loss to No. 11 Georgia in Athens.

*Redshirt freshman Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) had a career-high 10 rushing attempts for 41 yards to lead the Crimson Tide on the ground against LSU. 

*Sophomore quarterback Brodie Croyle (Rainbow City) completed just 12 of 33 passes for 154 yards in the loss to LSU.  He was intercepted once and sacked twice in the loss. 

*Sophomore left corner back Charlie Peprah (Plano, Texas) recorded his fourth interception of the season when he picked off a Matt Mauck pass at the Alabama goal line with 6:57 left in the first half.  Peprah's four interceptions matches his career high set last year as a freshman.  For the season, Peprah has four "picks" for 93 yards and one TD. 

*Peprah now has eight career interceptions for 182 return yards and two TDs.  The 182 return yards rank 6th all-time at Alabama, while the two TDs are one shy of the all-time record.

*Senior receiver Dre Fulgham (Montevallo) caught two passes for 13 yards in the loss to LSU.  Fulgham's 11-yard reception in the second quarter pushed him over the 1,000-yard mark for his career.  Fulgham now has 1,010 career receiving yards for the Crimson Tide.

*Freshman receiver Tyrone Prothro (Heflin) turned in another fine performance against LSU, catching three passes for 41 yards and adding two kickoff returns for 63 yards in the loss.

*Junior punter Bo Freelend (Eutaw) punted a career-high nine times in the loss to LSU.

LSU Postgame Notes

Team Notes                                                                                 

- LSU's game captains are CB Randall Gay, WR Devery Henderson and OG Stephen Peterman.

- LSU won the toss and deferred to the second half.

- OT Rodney Reed (44 straight), DT Chad Lavalais (31 straight), OG Stephen Peterman (29 straight), OT Andrew Whitworth (23 straight), WR Michael Clayton (23 straight) and DE Marcus Spears (15 straight) all extended their consecutive games started streak.

- LSU has now held seven of its 10 opponents scoreless in the first half of games this season. (UL-Monroe, Arizona, Western Illinois, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Auburn and Alabama)

- LSU improved to 9-1 on the season. The last time the Tigers began the season with a 9-1 record was 30 years ago during the 1973 season. 

- LSU has now won at least nine games in a single-season 21 times in its history. The Tigers now have 15 nine-win seasons, five 10-win seasons and one 11-win season.

- LSU won by 24 points or more for the fourth game in a row.  It marks the first time LSU has won by 24 points or more in four consecutive games since the Tigers won the first four games of the 1911 season by scores of 42-0 over Southwestern Louisiana, 46-0 over Louisiana Normal, 40-0 over Louisiana College and 40-0 over Meteor AC.

Individual Notes

- WR Michael Clayton's 12-yard reception in the first quarter extended his consecutive games with a reception to 36 games, every game of his career.

- WR Skyler Green's punt returns of 26, 34 and three yards in the first quarter gave the sophomore 350 yards for the season, moving him into sole-possession of seventh-place for punt return yards in a season. 

- PK Chris Jackson's 20-yard field goal with 10:34 left in the first quarter was the first of his career.

- WR Michael Clayton's 23-yard touchdown reception with 9:16 in the first quarter was the 18th of the junior's career, moving him into a tie for second-place with Andy Hamilton on LSU's career receiving touchdowns list. The TD reception also moved him into a tie for eighth place in receiving touchdowns in a single season.

- QB Matt Mauck's 23-yard touchdown pass to Michael Clayton with 9:16 in the first quarter moved the junior QB into a tie with Rohan Davey for fifth-place on LSU's career passing touchdowns list.

- WR Michael Clayton finished the game with 12 receptions, moving him into third place on LSU's career receptions list with 161. Clayton needs seven receptions to surpass Josh Reed in career receptions.

- Clayton finished the game with 130 yards. It was the sixth100-yard receiving game of his career, moving him into a six-way tie for seventh place in career 100-yard receiving games.

- QB Matt Mauck's 3-yard touchdown pass to Eric Edwards with 2:03 in the second quarter was the 30th of his career, surpassing Rohan Davey for fifth place in career passing touchdowns. It was the seventh TD reception of Edwards' career.

- DT Chad Lavalais' interception late in the second quarter was the first of his career.

- RB Alley Broussard's 4-yard touchdown run with 9:15 remaining in the third quarter was the fourth of the freshman's career.

- QB Matt Mauck improved to 14-2 as a starter at LSU.


Alabama Coach Mike Shula

(On LSU)

"They are real good and very deserving of their high ranking. We played Oklahoma early in the year so we can compare them to the top teams in the country. If Oklahoma is No. 1, they are definitely right behind them."

(On tonight's game)

"We got off to a poor start. We didn't execute. They had good field position all night and we just couldn't score when we had the chances. We just didn't play our best game. This was a tough loss. The defense was put in tough situations all night. We just have to put it out of our minds and get ready for the next one."

(On Auburn Game)

"This will be my first trip down to the Plains. Everybody has to step up because you throw the records out in this game. This is definitely the best rivalry in the country. We will go together as a team and help each other out."

LSU Coach Nick Saban

"I'm obviously very pleased with the effort my team put out today. I'm proud of the way we competed. I'm proud of the way the players responded in critical situations on both sides of the ball. Alabama is a great football team and they compete well.

"We made a lot of mistakes today and had a lot of penalities. We were never able to just put the game away. Being able to rise to the occasion and take leadership opportunities, I was proud of how we did that tonight."

(On LSU defense)

"Our defense played pretty well. We felt being here on the road and having been off for a while that we should get the momentum going on defense.

(On Brodie Croyle)

"Croyle did a real nice job scrambling. We've got a lot of respect for him."

Alabama Player Quotes

Justin Smiley-#78-OL

"You've got to tip your hats to those guys; they've got a tremendous team.  There's good talent over there.  They were better prepared.  They've got a lot on the line and they had a lot to play for.  You've just got to tip your hat to those guys."

Tyrone Prothro-#4-WR

"We've got to execute better.  We played really hard but on offense we have to execute better."

On the Auburn rivalry next week:

"We've got to come ready to play next week.  We all know how big the Alabama-Auburn rivalry is and we've got to come ready to play.  We've got to bring our A-game."

Roman Harper-#41-LB

"We didn't play well tonight.  We came out excited and pumped up and we knew what we had to do but we just didn't get the job done.  We knew they had some great receivers, we just didn't play like we needed to and that's the bottom line."

"We didn't get enough pressure on (LSU QB Mauck) because he took a lot of three-step drops and he just got it to his receivers, he did a good job of that.  That was the difference in the game."

"In the third quarter it was 17-0 and we get a turnover right there inside the 30 but we didn't get points out of that and that was a big key in the game.  We lost a lot of momentum on that one and it came back and hurt us."

LSU Player Quotes:

QB Matt Mauck

"We had a great team effort tonight. Offensively we left a few things out there, but when we needed a big play we made it and that was big tonight.

(On interception)

"It was a really poor decision on my part. It was just something I really wish I could take back. I thought I did a pretty good job tonight, but there were some things I would've done differently if I could.

(On Alabama)

"Bama is a great team. I really feel for them having to go through three head coaches and a bunch of new systems. It has to be tough."

TE Eric Edwards

"We came out ready to play tonight. We made some mistakes on offense, but our defense really played awesome tonight. Alabama is a really good team. We beat a really good team tonight. They played hard, but we just came out ready."

OT Rodney Reed

"Everytime we didn't score tonight we basically stopped ourselves. Alabama is a really good SEC team and everytime you play a team like them on the road it is tough. We did just enough tonight to win. We left some opportunities on the field, but we played with the type of intensity it took to win.

(On SEC Division Title hopes)

"It is like the playoffs. If we lose any game from here on out we could be out of the race."

WR Michael Clayton

"Offensively we came out really fired up and did an excellent job. We just wanted to get points tonight. We didn't want to leave any opportunities for points on the field. We're winding down toward the end of the season and we have some big games coming up. Tonight we didn't play our best so we'll have to come out next week and work harder.

(On Ole Miss game)

"We're going to enjoy this win tonight, but it is going to be a really great ball game. We're playing a great team and that is what it is all about."