The Alabama Crimson Tide were facing the consensus No. 1 college football team in America, and the LSU Tigers had already beaten Alabama in Tuscaloosa. To make matters worse, the Tide were facing LSU in New Orleans, where the Tigers had claimed their two previous BCS National Championships. But Alabama saved its best defensive performance for the last game of the 2011 college football season.
The Tide throttled LSU's offense, holding it to a mere 92 yards on the night, limiting the Bayou Bengals to just five first downs, and allowing just one possession to enter Alabama territory in the most important game of the year for either team. And that possession, which didn't come until midway through the fourth quarter, was ended by a fumble that Alabama recovered — the Tide's second takeaway of the night — in LSU territory.
Alabama had by far the best run defense in college football in 2011, holding opposing teams to less than 2.5 yards per carry and limiting five opponents to less than a yard per carry. LSU's running game was the bread and butter of an offense that helped the Tigers put up a 13-0 record, averaging 4.96 yards per carry and producing 35 touchdowns before meeting the Tide defense in New Orleans. But the Tide won that battle in convincing fashion, holding LSU to 1.44 yards per carry; strip Jordan Jefferson's 18-yard scramble in the fourth quarter, the only run of more than 10 yards against Alabama, and LSU would have averaged less than a yard per carry on the night.
On an extraordinary night, Alabama's defense proved to be extraordinary, too.
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