Across the street from the Superdome, 3D animated graphics of LSU images as well as a 31
2-story, continuously updated scoreboard projected on the side of the 28-story Entergy Corporation building.
Fans who came to see defense got what they wanted.
Alabama shut down LSU’s offense from the game’s start, forcing the Tigers into consecutive three-and-outs. The option attack, which was effective at times in the first meeting with Jefferson under center, had little success on LSU’s second possession.
Jefferson pitched to running back Spencer Ware, but Upshaw dragged him down for no gain. That led to the first big play of the game, a line-drive punt by Brad Wing that Maze took through the middle and down the sideline for a 49-yard gain to the Alabama 26-yard line. That soon led to the night’s first field goal.
Early on, Alabama leaned heavily on Brad Smelley, the tight end who saw increased production late in the season and who caught four passes in the first quarter alone Monday. But it was an acrobatic 26-yard completion to wide receiver Kevin Norwood, who leaped over cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and kept one foot inbounds, that further propelled Alabama.
On fourth and four from the LSU 32, Alabama trotted out Foster to attempt a long field goal. But McCarron, who was the holder for the kick, took the snap and flipped the ball to tight end Chris Underwood for a four-yard gain. The first trick play — by Saban, not the so-called Mad Hatter Les Miles — gave Alabama a first down by inches.
When the drive stalled, Saban sent in Shelley for a 42-yard field goal attempt. But 6-6 Michael Brockers got a hand on it, and the block ignited the LSU side of the dome.
Later in the half, Alabama engineered an 11-play, 58-yard drive that bled more than six minutes off the clock. But once again, the Crimson Tide was forced to settle for a field goal attempt. Shelley knocked the 34-yard kick through to give his team a 6-0 lead. McCarron exhibited full control in the final two minutes of the half, leading his team 52 yards in nine plays. That set up Shelley’s 41-yard field goal as time expired.
A football sailing through the uprights, one of the images that most resonated in Monday’s national title game.