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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2007
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LSU cornerback Chevis Jackson, left, breaks up a pass to Alabama receiver Mike McCoy.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
LSU cornerback Chevis Jackson, left, breaks up a pass to Alabama receiver Mike McCoy.

A tough
time for Tide

Alabama seniors must absorb another loss to Bengal Tigers

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

TUSCALOOSA — Keith Brown’s voice wavered between disappointment and depression following Alabama 41-34 loss to LSU on Saturday.

His monotone never changed pitch as he answered various questions about what went wrong and how to fix it.

“I’m a senior, true enough, but as a player, I don’t like to lose, period,” said Brown, who caught two touchdown passes Saturday. “Who enjoys losing?”

In the much-hyped Nick Saban-Les Miles matchup, Brown and players like him might’ve been lost in the shuffle.

A senior, Brown hasn’t beaten LSU as Alabama has lost its last five matchups with the Tigers. And the hope that Saban offers to the future of the program doesn’t mean much after a tough loss for players like Brown, cornerback Simeon Castille, wide receiver DJ Hall and defensive end Wallace Gilberry — all seniors.

“(The game) was about us and what did and what we didn’t do was going to determine the game,” Gilberry said. “As you can see, what we didn’t do determined the outcome of the game.”

Throughout the season, Saban, the Alabama coach, has told his team games rest on their shoulders, not what the other team does.

Though LSU entered as the nation’s No. 3-ranked team, that didn’t affect Alabama. After Javier Arenas’ 61-yard punt return for a touchdown, the Tide had a 34-27 lead with 7:33 remaining — only to see that victory washed away in 14 unanswered LSU points to end the game.

“It’s not what they do — it’s about what we do,” Brown said. “Our coach says it a million times every day. What you do is going to determine the outcome of the game.”

That phrase has been Alabama’s motto for the season. A win or a loss hangs on the Tide’s shoulders — not the other team’s.

A shot at the SEC Championship Game will disappear with one more LSU conference victory.

The Tigers have Arkansas and Ole Miss left on their conference schedule. In order to stay in the discussion for an upper-echelon bowl game, the Tide needs a victory Saturday against Mississippi State.

Representatives from the Orange, Capital One, Cotton, Sugar, Outback, Chick-fil-A, Liberty and Independence bowls visited Tuscaloosa to watch the Alabama-LSU game.

So far this year, Alabama’s ability to rally from emotional games has been mixed.

The Crimson Tide followed up its last-minute win over Arkansas with consecutive losses to Georgia and Florida State.

Then after a tough win over Ole Miss that went down to the final play, the Crimson Tide blew out Tennessee 41-17.

“We need to get better,” Saban said. “We need to look at what we need to do to improve from and understand it’s about what we do and what we don’t do that will determine the outcome of the future of what we do here relative to our next opponent.”

Alabama Monday Playback

Three points Alabama should remember after its 41-34 loss to LSU.

You’re legitimate: LSU may have shot itself in the foot on multiple occasions, but you showed the country in a nationally televised game that you are a good team.

Avoid the letdown: Yes, so Mississippi State came to Tuscaloosa last year, controlled the line of scrimmage and beat you into the ground. This year, the Bulldogs have a little more motivation, because they’re one win away from bowl eligibility.

Pour it on: If you win out, you’re going to a good bowl game. Don’t let the loss to LSU make you lose sight of that.

Josh Cooper

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