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Alabama and LSU trade touchdowns, Tigers trail 17-14 at halftime

After a first quarter highlighted by strong defensive play, Alabama and LSU have seen their offenses pick up some steam in the second quarter, trading two touchdowns apiece as the Tide lead 17-14 at halftime.

LSU started the second quarter with the ball on the Alabama three-yard line, and were able to punch it in by giving it to Jeremy Hill. The Tigers took a 7-3 lead on Hill's touchdown run, just the third touchdown the Tide defense has given up since their week two battle with Texas A&M.

Alabama opened their next drive with speed back Kenyan Drake in the backfield, and he gained 25 yards on two touches (with a sack of A.J. McCarron in between those two plays). On third-and-nine, McCarron found O.J. Howard over the middle on a slant route, and the freshman was able to run past the LSU defense for a 52-yard score and a 10-7 Alabama lead.


LSU's next drive started well, as Mettenberger completed a short pass to Hill that turned into a 23-yard gain near midfield. The drive stalled at that point, as C.J. Mosley broke through on second-and-five to make a huge play and stuff Terrence Magee for a loss. The Tide's pass rush got to Mettenberger on the next play to force an incompletion, and the Tigers punted the ball away.

The next drive for Alabama was their most consistent of the day. Their first three plays went for double digit yardage -- a 12-yard pass to Amari Cooper, a 15-yard run by Kenyan Drake and a 13-yard pass to DeAndrew White. Two plays later, McCarron found Amari Cooper for a 21-yard gain. McCarron capped off the drive with a beautifully thrown fade pass to Kevin Norwood in the end zone for a nine-yard score, pushing the Alabama lead to 17-7.

Alabama looked ready to stop LSU early on their next drive, forcing a third-and-six deep in Tiger territory, but Mettenberger was able to find Kadron Boone for a 28-yard gain. On the next play, Mettenberger threw a beautiful out route to Odell Beckham for a 16-yard gain, and three plays later he found Jarvis Landry for a 15-yard gain on third-and-six. He capped the drive with a beautiful throw to Travin Dural in the back of the end zone for a six-yard score.

Mettenberg has completed 10 of 13 pass attempts for 173 yards and a score, while McCarron is 9 of 13 for 129 yards and two touchdowns.