TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Jalen Milroe rushed for 155 yards and four touchdowns and passed for another 219 yards to lead No. 8 Alabama to a 42-28 victory over No. 13 LSU on Saturday night.
Milroe matched big plays both running and passing with the Tigers’ Heisman Trophy candidate Jayden Daniels and the Crimson Tide (8-1, 6-0 Southeastern Conference, No. 8 CFP) moved closer to locking down an SEC West title. Alabama also continued its rise back into playoff contention with a seventh consecutive win.
“Probably as close to a complete game as we’ve played all year and we needed to play a game like that,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. It kept all of Alabama’s annual goals intact, something that seemed anything but guaranteed after a game 2 loss to No. 7 Texas.
“Maybe win the West, maybe get in the SEC Championship Game and who knows what happens from there?” Saban said,
Daniels and Milroe were both putting on dazzling dual-threat displays. But the Heisman Trophy contender for the Tigers (6-3, 4-2) was hurt on a hard hit that drew a flag early in the fourth quarter. He briefly reentered the game but didn’t run a play, heading to the medical tent after a penalty and a timeout, where his mother joined him. CBS reported he was in concussion protocol.
Daniels lay face down before walking off after the hit by Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner that drew a roughing the passer flag.
Milroe, meanwhile, had likely his best all-around game, putting up Daniels-like numbers. He completed 15 of 23 passes and had 20 carries, setting a Tide single-game record for rushing TDs by a quarterback.
Daniels also passed for 219 yards with two touchdowns, while running for 163 yards and a score. His lone negative play proved a big one. Turner deflected a fourth-quarter pass into the air and Terrion Arnold intercepted it, setting up Jase McClellan’s 10-yard scoring run to push the margin to two touchdowns.
Garrett Nussmeier finished off the game and did move LSU into Alabama territory late.
Malik Nabers, the nation’s leading receiver had 10 catches for 171 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown on the Tigers’ opening drive.
Both starting quarterbacks had 100-plus rushing yards and topped 160 passing by halftime, when it was tied 21-21.
The teams traded rushing touchdowns by Josh Williams and Roydell Williams in the third quarter.
LSU: Picked up its third loss but played Alabama toe to toe most of the way. Totaled 478 yards to end a string of seven straight games with at least 500 yards.
Alabama: Moved one step closer to winning the SEC West. The Tide needs Mississippi to lose again or to beat either Kentucky or Auburn. The Tide went 11 of 14 on third down plays and ran for 288 yards, playing keep away from Daniels and Co.
The Tide’s Will Reichard, in his graduate year, became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer among kickers with an extra point in the third quarter. He passed Austin Seibert’s record of 499 set from 2015-18 at Oklahoma.
Alabama keeps inching back up the rankings. LSU shouldn’t fall too far — but could have bigger issues if Daniels is out.
LSU hosts Florida to start a closing three-game home stand.
Alabama visits Kentucky and has two of its last three on the road.
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