BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Eighteenth-ranked Louisiana State turned the Southeastern Conference football race into a wild four-team scramble Saturday night with a clutch defense that sparked a 14-10 victory over sixth-ranked Alabama.
It was the third straight time that LSU has beaten the Tide in Birmingham.
LSU, 6-2 overall, gained a first-place tie with Alabama at 4-1 in the SEC race. Mississippi and No. 9 Auburn also remain in title contention with 3-1 SEC marks.
Alabama fell to 8-2 overall.
Greg Jackson led a big-play defense, intercepting a pass, recovering a fumble and forcing another fumble as the Crimson Tide squandered opportunities to win.
"We played good defense," LSU Coach Bill Arnsparger said. "We had to shut them out in the second half, and we shut them out."
The Tide, needing a victory to clinch a tie for their 19th SEC championship, got inside the LSU 30 four times without scoring.
Bobby Humphrey fumbled away two chances inside the 20 in the fourth quarter, spoiling a 134-yard effort that gave him the school single-season rushing record of 1,138 yards.
"That was not the same team that played Miami of Ohio and Ole Miss," Alabama Coach Ray Perkins said of the Tigers, whose losses came to those two teams.
"They played better than we did when they had to do it," he said. "I think we had it down there three or four times and came out with only three points. You can't do that and have turnovers and penalties, and win against LSU."
Jackson intercepted a pass from Mike Shula in the end zone after the Tide had reached the 13. Jackson also recovered a fumble on the LSU 18.
The LSU strong safety then forced a fumble when he hit Humphrey just shy of the goal, and teammate Kevin Guidry pounced on it in the end zone for a touchback.
Shula, who had one of his better games, completed 16 of 27 passes for 190 yards.
LSU's touchdowns came on a three-yard keeper by quarterback Mickey Guidry and a six-yard pass from Tom Hodson to Wendell Davis, the nation's leading receiver going into the game.
The home team hasn't won in this series since 1980, but the Tide has a 32-13-5 advantage.