Jayden Daniels ran for a 25-yard touchdown in overtime and then found tight end Mason Taylor for a 2-point conversion, and 10th-ranked LSU defeated No. 6 Alabama 32-31 on Saturday night for give the first year Tigers coach Brian Kelly his first win over Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.
The surprising win in a riveting game that featured six second-half lead changes and a tying Alabama field goal in the final minute also gave LSU (7-2, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) control of the SEC West Division with two league games. remaining
Alabama (7-2, 4-2) started overtime with the ball and took a 31-24 lead on Roydell Williams’ second touchdown of the game.
But Daniels only needed one play in overtime to score and force a decision from Kelly to try to tie it with a kick or let Daniels try to win it.
“I love the way our guys competed. I didn’t want to go into overtime,” Kelly said as jubilant fans filed onto the field. “It felt like the right time to try and win the game.”
Alabama, favored by nearly two goals, lost in Tiger Stadium for the first time since 2010. Kelly, who as Notre Dame coach lost twice to Saban and Alabama in the college football postseason, became the coach who snapped that streak in the first year of a 10-year contract worth nearly $100 million.
“To come here and restore the pride and tradition of this program means a lot,” Kelly said. “It feels great to return the faith and trust they’ve given me.”
Daniels passed for 182 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 95 yards and a score.
Alabama’s Bryce Young passed for 328 yards and a touchdown, and was also intercepted.
There were three lead changes in the final 4:44, starting when Young narrowly escaped a sack, rolled right and found Ja’Corey Brooks for a 41-yard touchdown.
LSU went back in front 24-21 with 1:47 left in regulation when Daniels hit Taylor in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard score.
But Young drove Alabama to the LSU 28 and Will Reichard’s 46-yard field goal with 21 seconds left tied it.
LSU then opted to run out the clock.
Alabama took the first of two fourth-quarter leads with the help of LSU’s facemask and defensive holding penalties that negated what would have been a third-down sack at the Tigers 36.
After Jahmyr Gibbs’ 14-yard run to the 2, Williams pulled within 15-14 after a failed 2-point conversion with 12:37 left.
LSU responded by driving inside the Alabama 15, but the Tide muffed Daniels’ third-and-goal, limiting the Tigers to Damian Ramos’ 32-yard field goal with 6:52 left.
Alabama took its first lead on Reichard’s third field goal of the game, capping a third quarter drive in which Alabama converted twice on fourth and short on Williams runs.
A crowd of about 102,000 turned Death Valley into the “Deaf Valley” with ear-splitting roars that seemed to send vibrations through the nearly century-old stadium.
Although the noise level seemed to unsettle Alabama’s offense at times, the Crimson Tide threatened to score first until Young attempted to throw into the end zone while scrambling and was intercepted by Jarrick Bernard-Converse.
The Tigers ended up scoring first when John Emery Jr. he turned a short pass from Daniels into a 30-yard touchdown, taking a high step toward the goal line as former LSU basketball great Shaquille O’Neal pointed approvingly at him from the near sideline.
Report from The Associated Press.
Get more from college football Follow your favorites for information on games, news and more