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Sunday, November 6, 2011
Jefferson sparks LSU in win vs. 'Bama


LSU and Alabama proved low-scoring games can be as exciting as their high-scoring counterparts.

LSU won the lowest-scoring game between the AP No. 1 and No. 2 since 1946, when Army and Notre Dame finished in a scoreless tie. It was the first-ever overtime game between the top two AP teams in the regular season (overtime rules began in 1996).

The situation was somewhat familiar for the Bayou Bengals.

In each of the past four instances the AP No. 1 team played an overtime game, LSU was involved. The Tigers lost the previous three (they were the top-ranked team in two of those games and No. 15 in the other).

Helping key LSU’s win was quarterback Jordan Jefferson.

Jefferson took all but one snap for LSU after the first quarter. He had only attempted 10 passes and 26 rushes heading into Saturday, but opened up the running game for the Tigers. LSU gained 91.9 percent of their rushing yards with Jefferson on the field.

With Jefferson on the field, LSU was able to use its "speed option." The Tigers ran for 47 yards on its six options, including 14- and 15-yard runs by Michael Ford.

Ford became the only player with two rushes of 14 yards or longer against Alabama this season.

Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide’s struggles after a bye under Nick Saban continued.

Since Nick Saban took over in 2007, the Tide are 3-3 after a bye week in the regular season. All three losses have come against LSU, and all three times LSU was also coming off a bye week.

Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson wasn't able to carry his team victory, but he did carry Alabama throughout the game. He rushed for 89 yards and added 80 yards receiving. He was responsible for 169 of the teams 295 total yards, or 57.3 percent of the team's offense.

Of Richardson’s 89 rushing yards, 42 came after contact. It was the fifth straight game Richardson gained at least 45 percent of his rushing yards after contact. For the season, 555 of Richardson’s 1078 yards have come after contact.