TUSCALOOSA, Ala. —No. 3 Alabama picked up another dramatic win and a second straight trip to the SEC championship game.
Julio Jones caught a 73-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and Leigh Tiffin booted a 40-yard field goal with 3:04 left to seal a 24-15 victory for the Crimson Tide against No. 9 LSU on Saturday.
The Tide (9-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) earned a rematch with No. 1 Florida for the league championship in a physical game that left the Tigers (7-2, 4-2) without quarterback Jordan Jefferson and running back Charles Scott for most of the second half.
The win touched off another big celebration for Alabama, which survived a 12-10 win over Tennessee two weeks ago.
LSU would have taken control of the West and remained in position for a possible national title shot with a victory. The Tigers, whose only other loss came to the Gators, took a 15-10 lead into the fourth. They had won four straight games at Bryant-Denny Stadium but now have lost two in a row to Alabama and their former coach, Nick Saban.
Saban & Co. moved a step closer to their second straight perfect regular season. The Tide outgained LSU 452-253, and narrowed the number SEC national championship contenders to two.
Alabama is 9-0 for a second consecutive season, which hasn't happened 1973-74 under Bear Bryant.
Greg McElroy completed 19 of 34 passes for 276 yards with two touchdowns and an interception as the Tide aired it out 25 times in the first half against a defense that was putting extra defenders near the line.
The second half was more typical of the Tide's style. Mark Ingram gained 106 of his 144 yards after the half to continue to mount a strong campaign for Heisman Trophy consideration.
Jones had his best game of the season, with four catches for 102 yards.
And the Tide defense — as it has all season — came through in the end.
Needing two scores, backup quarterback Jarrett Lee and LSU couldn't get it to midfield in the final minutes.
Alabama hadn't left them much time, anyway, milking more than six minutes off the clock in setting up Tiffin's final kick. He also had a 20-yarder on a drive that took nearly as long early in the fourth.
LSU had failed on a 2-point try late in the third quarter trying to push its lead to seven points. Trent Richardson's 2-point run after Jones' touchdown made it a two-score game at the end.
LSU managed just 9 yards in the fourth.