TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- One week ago, three teams ranked ahead of LSU were caught "looking ahead" in their schedule and instead lost the game they were currently playing. However, Saturday night in Tuscaloosa would not be a repeat of this. The Tigers dominated Alabama on both sides of the ball and came away with a 27-3 victory over the Crimson Tide.
LSU (9-1, 5-1) still controls its destiny in the SEC Western Division. A 2:30 p.m. CST match-up against Ole Miss one week from today will determine the SEC West winner and who will head to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game.
The box score is now available. Please check back later for the GameDay gallery photos and updated season statistics.
(AP) -- Matt Mauck, Chad Lavalais and LSU did just about everything right in a dominating win over Alabama. Yet no matter how overpowering the Tigers look on the field, they still need help off it.
Mauck threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 3 LSU held the Crimson Tide scoreless until the fourth quarter in a 27-3 victory Saturday night.
With representatives from the Sugar Bowl watching, the Tigers (9-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) moved within a game of Mississippi in the SEC West heading into next week's showdown in Oxford and kept pace with Southern California and Ohio State in the BCS standings.
But LSU will have a hard time moving up from fourth to second in the standings that determine who plays for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl unless Ohio State and USC lose. The Tigers have played the weakest schedule of those three teams, a key component in the BCS standings.
The way the Tigers have played of late, they showed they can compete with just about anybody. Since a 19-7 loss to Florida last month, LSU has outscored its last four opponents 140-27.
Lavalais anchors a dominating defense that allows only 6.7 points per game, best in the nation, and Mauck has been extremely efficient since struggling against the Gators. The Tigers have their highest ranking in the AP poll in 42 years.
Mauck took advantage of soft coverage by Alabama (4-7, 2-5) to connect 12 times with Michael Clayton for 130 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Mauck finished 24-for-36.
The loss assured Alabama of its third losing season in the past seven years after having just one in the previous 40 years. Mike Shula finished 2-5 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in his first year as Crimson Tide coach.
The Tide couldn't generate anything on offense, finally getting on the scoreboard on Brian Bostick's 27-yard field goal with 6:38 to play. Alabama finished with 219 yards and 10 first downs.
Alabama struggled to score even when it had great field position. Charlie Peprah forced and recovered a fumble by Clayton on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. The Tide took over at the LSU 29 but managed only 1 yard in three plays before Bostick missed a 45-yard field goal.
LSU responded with a 72-yard drive, capped by Alley Broussard's 3-yard run to make it 24-0.
Alabama drove to the LSU 6 on the final play of the third quarter but still couldn't score. A penalty, a sack and three incomplete passes thwarted the drive.
The Tide were held to one first down in the first 29 minutes against the nation's stingiest defense. Alabama got two first downs on its final drive of the half, but an interception by Lavalais ended the threat.
LSU gave Brodie Croyle little time to throw and SEC leading rusher Shaud Williams no room to run. Croyle went 12-for-33 for 154 yards and an interception and Williams had 11 carries for 29 yards.
LSU scored on its first two possessions, getting a 20-yard field goal by Chris Jackson and Mauck's pass to Clayton.
His 18th career TD catch -- one shy of the school record -- came one play after Skyler Green's 34-yard punt return set up the Tigers at the 23.
Mauck added a 3-yard touchdown pass to Eric Edwards late in the second quarter to make it 17-0. LSU has outscored opponents 217-19 in the first half this season.
LSU at Alabama
Nov. 15, 2003 -- Bryant-Denny Stadium
LSU's game captains are CB Randall Gay, WR Devery Henderson and OG Stephen Peterman.
LSU won the toss and deferred to the second half.
OT Rodney Reed (44 straight), DT Chad Lavalais (31 straight), OG Stephen Peterman (29 straight), OT Andrew Whitworth (23 straight), WR Michael Clayton (23 straight) and DE Marcus Spears (15 straight) all extended their consecutive games started streak.
LSU has now held seven of its 10 opponents scoreless in the first half of games this season. (UL-Monroe, Arizona, Western Illinois, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Auburn and Alabama)
LSU improved to 9-1 on the season. The last time the Tigers began the season with a 9-1 record was 30 years ago during the 1973 season.
LSU has now won at least nine games in a single-season 21 times in its history. The Tigers now have 15 nine-win seasons, five 10-win seasons and one 11-win season.
LSU won by 24 points or more for the fourth game in a row. It marks the first time LSU has won by 24 points or more in four consecutive games since the Tigers won the first four games of the 1911 season by scores of 42-0 over Southwestern Louisiana, 46-0 over Louisiana Normal, 40-0 over Louisiana College and 40-0 over Meteor AC.
WR Michael Clayton's 12-yard reception in the first quarter extended his consecutive games with a reception to 36 games, every game of his career.
WR Skyler Green's punt returns of 26, 34 and three yards in the first quarter gave the sophomore 350 yards for the season, moving him into sole-possession of seventh-place for punt return yards in a season.
PK Chris Jackson's 20-yard field goal with 10:34 left in the first quarter was the first of his career.
WR Michael Clayton's 23-yard touchdown reception with 9:16 in the first quarter was the 18th of the junior's career, moving him into a tie for second-place with Andy Hamilton on LSU's career receiving touchdowns list. The TD reception also moved him into a tie for eighth place in receiving touchdowns in a single season.
QB Matt Mauck's 23-yard touchdown pass to Michael Clayton with 9:16 in the first quarter moved the junior QB into a tie with Rohan Davey for fifth-place on LSU's career passing touchdowns list.
WR Michael Clayton finished the game with 12 receptions, moving him into third place on LSU's career receptions list with 161. Clayton needs seven receptions to surpass Josh Reed in career receptions.
Clayton finished the game with 130 yards. It was the sixth100-yard receiving game of his career, moving him into a six-way tie for seventh place in career 100-yard receiving games.
QB Matt Mauck's 3-yard touchdown pass to Eric Edwards with 2:03 in the second quarter was the 30th of his career, surpassing Rohan Davey for fifth place in career passing touchdowns. It was the seventh TD reception of Edwards' career.
DT Chad Lavalais' interception late in the second quarter was the first of his career.
RB Alley Broussard's 4-yard touchdown run with 9:15 remaining in the third quarter was the fourth of the freshman's career.
QB Matt Mauck improved to 14-2 as a starter at LSU.
LSU Coach Nick Saban
"I'm obviously very pleased with the effort my team put out today. I'm proud of the way we competed. I'm proud of the way the players responded in critical situations on both sides of the ball. Alabama is a great football team and they compete well."
"We made a lot of mistakes today and had a lot of penalities. We were never able to just put the game away. Being able to rise to the occasion and take leadership opportunities, I was proud of how we did that tonight."
(On LSU defense)
"Our defense played pretty well. We felt being here on the road and having been off for a while that we should get the momentum going on defense.
(On Brodie Croyle)
"Croyle did a real nice job scrambling. We've got a lot of respect for him."
Alabama Coach Mike Shula
"They are real good and very deserving of their high ranking. We played Oklahoma early in the year so we can compare them to the top teams in the country. If Oklahoma is No. 1, they are definitely right behind them."
(On tonight's game)
"We got off to a poor start. We didn't execute. They had good field position all night and we just couldn't score when we had the chances. We just didn't play our best game. This was a tough loss. The defense was put in tough situations all night. We just have to put it out of our minds and get ready for the next one."
(On Auburn Game)
"This will be my first trip down to the Plains. Everybody has to step up because you throw the records out in this game. This is definitely the best rivalry in the country. We will go together as a team and help each other out."
LSU Player Quotes
QB Matt Mauck
"We had a great team effort tonight. Offensively we left a few things out there, but when we needed a big play we made it and that was big tonight.
"It was a really poor decision on my part. It was just something I really wish I could take back. I thought I did a pretty good job tonight, but there were some things I would've done differently if I could.
"Bama is a great team. I really feel for them having to go through three head coaches and a bunch of new systems. It has to be tough."
TE Eric Edwards
"We came out ready to play tonight. We made some mistakes on offense, but our defense really played awesome tonight. Alabama is a really good team. We beat a really good team tonight. They played hard, but we just came out ready."
OT Rodney Reed
"Everytime we didn't score tonight we basically stopped ourselves. Alabama is a really good SEC team and every time you play a team like them on the road it is tough. We did just enough tonight to win. We left some opportunities on the field, but we played with the type of intensity it took to win.
(On SEC Division Title hopes)
"It is like the playoffs. If we lose any game from here on out we could be out of the race."
WR Michael Clayton
"Offensively we came out really fired up and did an excellent job. We just wanted to get points tonight. We didn't want to leave any opportunities for points on the field. We're winding down toward the end of the season and we have some big games coming up. Tonight we didn't play our best so we'll have to come out next week and work harder.
(On Ole Miss game)
"We're going to enjoy this win tonight, but it is going to be a really great ball game. We're playing a great team and that is what it is all about."