clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

LSU vs. Alabama final score 2015: 3 things to know from the Crimson Tide's 30-16 win

'Bama's back, and everyone's in trouble.

No. 2 LSU and No. 4 Alabama were supposed to be meeting in another one of their heavyweight bouts for College Football Playoff positioning and SEC superiority on Saturday night.

But while the Crimson Tide didn't quite score a knockout, their 30-16 victory was certainly more than enough to garner a majority decision on any scorecard.

Alabama's vaunted defensive line bottled up Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette like no other team has in 2015, and the more embattled Alabama offensive line turned in a vintage performance, springing Derrick Henry for a 210-yard night with three touchdowns that might prompt some Heisman buzz of his own.

The victory gives Alabama an overwhelming edge in the race to win the SEC West. LSU is the league's only other one-loss team, after Ole Miss lost to Arkansas on Saturday afternoon, and the Crimson Tide's head-to-head tiebreaker will stand up if they close out the regular season with wins over Mississippi State and Auburn.

1. Alabama could cruise to the Playoff. Dak Prescott's the exact type of quarterback that Alabama has struggled to contain in recent years, but he's just one man, and plays for a team with far less talent than the Tide's NFL factory has. And if the Tide survive Starkville? No other team looks capable of turning them back.

Auburn played well to beat Texas A&M on Saturday, but has been thoroughly inconsistent in 2015, and SEC Championship Game opponent Florida has a sputtering passing game since losing Will Grier. Alabama might not get into the Playoff as a No. 1 seed, but vanquishing the No. 2 team in the country and taking care of business down the stretch should put it in the four-team field.

2. Leonard Fournette can be stopped. It took an Alabama front seven with maybe more than seven future NFL players to do it, but Fournette was largely a non-factor in this game, tallying 31 yards on 19 carries, and getting more than half of those 31 yards on one short touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.

Is Fournette still the Heisman front-runner? Maybe. There's been enough shakeup around him, with Dalvin Cook and Trevone Boykin each falling from their highest points, though, that Henry might well be the player best-positioned to take a run at the player he outdid on Saturday night, and Fournette's stats are still going to look fantastic with this game's line factored in.

But he's clearly not the runaway favorite he appeared to be before Saturday night.

3. Alabama is skilled in trench warfare. The quiet night by Fournette and massive yardage total for Henry really both have more to do with Alabama being wholly dominant in the trenches on both sides of the ball than anything either player was able to do individually. Fournette was repeatedly met by multiple defenders, and Henry was able to get to the second level largely unharmed.

And LSU's lines are good, stocked with five-star recruits of their own and coached by veterans. Alabama simply outclassed it at the point of attack, again and again. That part of this game is likely to leave a lasting impression on the Playoff selection committee, whose chairman Jeff Long valued balance in comments about last week's initial rankings release.