No. 1 ranked Alabama broke an almost 100-year record on a brisk Saturday night in Tiger Stadium with the help of a south Louisiana native.
The Crimson Tide scored the most points ever in this series by either team, rolling for a 55-17 victory over LSU with Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith of Amite (La.) High putting on a pass-catching exhibition.
Smith had the second most receiving yards of any SEC player this season, 231 yards on eight catches with three TDs as Alabama surpassed the 47 points it scored in a 47-3 win over the Tigers in 1922.
The 9-0 Crimson Tide led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and 45-14 at halftime. Both times LSU scored touchdowns, Alabama responded in three plays with quarterback Mac Jones throwing the 65 and 61-yard TD bombs to Smith.
LSU (3-5) entered the game as a 29½-point underdog, the largest in college football history for a defending national champion.
The Tide covered the spread scoring 10 points in the last 3:20 of the first half, the final points on a 20-yard scoring strike to a leaping Smith who made the catch despite smothering coverage by LSU All-American cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.
Alabama, which scored more than 50 points for the fourth time this season, also became the fourth team to gain 500 or more yards (and the second team over 600 yards) against LSU. The Tide finished with 650 yards compared to LSU’s 352.
Jones, considered one of the leading Heisman Trophy candidates, completed his first 12 passes and finished with 385 yards and four TDs as he sat out most of the fourth quarter. Running back Najee Harris ran for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
The closest LSU got to Alabama was 14 points at 21-7 with 14:53 left in the second quarter and 28-14 with 12:32 before halftime, the latter Tigers’ TD on a 54-yard run by John Emery Jr.
After Emery’s score, the Crimson Tide’s response was scoring 24 straight points before LSU’s Cade York added a 54-yard field goal.