November 3, 2007: LSU 41, Alabama 34
Call this one the Revenge of the Coonasses.
Saban vs. Miles.
Of course, this game had nothing to do with the coaches. Just ask ’em.
This was payback, not matter how much Saban tried to protest.
“It ain’t got nothing to do with me,” he said in a fiery post-game news conference that bordered at times on a lecture. “I don’t coach LSU anymore. I coach Alabama. I’m going to do a good job coaching Alabama. We’re going to recruit good players. We’re going to have a good team. We’re going to have a good program.
“So, it’s got nothing to do with me. Nothing.”
“That had nothing to do with who coaches the teams,” Miles said. “This was about two football teams and position in the West.”
Sure. Whatever you say, Coach.
For a game that wasn’t decided until just over a minute to go, the stats tell a strange story. LSU outgained ‘Bama 475 yards to 254 and held the ball more than 33 minutes. The Tide averaged a miniscule 0.6 yard per rushing attempt. John Parker Wilson was a weak 14-40 throwing the ball, although he did manage 3 TD passes.
You have to look a little deeper. LSU was -1 in turnover margin. The Tigers racked up an incredible 130 yards in penalties (Alabama, on the other hand, was penalized only twice for 15 yards) which went a good way towards negating the advantage in yardage that LSU enjoyed. The rest of that was wiped out by two big plays in the return game: a 61 yard punt return for a touchdown that gave the Tide its last lead in the fourth quarter and a 51 yard interception return that set up a ‘Bama touchdown in the last minute of the second quarter.
LSU sacked John Parker Wilson seven times. None were bigger than the last two:
Which led to this ugly drive description…
DRIVE TOTALS: Alab drive: 3 plays -29 yards, 01:01 Alab FUMB
Two plays later, Jacob Hester went over for the winning score.
So many games don’t live up to the pregame buildup. This wasn’t one of those.
Just remember that it was never about the coaches.