TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Jalen Milroe lowered his shoulder and knocked down an LSU defensive back.
Ultimately, Milroe and No. 8 Alabama did the same thing to the 13th-ranked Tigers, muscling through the latest challenge standing in their way.
The Crimson Tide quarterback rushed for 155 yards and four touchdowns and passed for another 219 yards to lead Alabama to a 42-28 victory over LSU on Saturday night.
Milroe matched big plays both running and passing with the Tigers’ Heisman Trophy candidate Jayden Daniels and the Tide (8-1, 6-0 Southeastern Conference, No. 8 CFP) moved closer to locking down an SEC West title.
Alabama also continued its rise back into playoff contention with a seventh consecutive win, with few of them coming easily.
“Probably as close to a complete game as we’ve played all year and we needed to play a game like that,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. It kept all of Alabama’s annual goals intact, something that seemed anything but guaranteed after a game 2 loss to No. 7 Texas.
“Maybe win the West, maybe get in the SEC Championship Game and who knows what happens from there?” Saban said,
Daniels and Milroe were both putting on dazzling dual-threat displays. But the Heisman Trophy contender for the Tigers (6-3, 4-2) was hurt on a hard hit that drew a flag early in the fourth quarter. He briefly reentered the game but didn’t run a play, heading to the medical tent after a penalty and a timeout, where his mother joined him.
Daniels lay face down before walking off after the hit by Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner that drew a roughing the passer flag.
“He had a head injury and was not able to come back,” LSU coach Brian Kelly said. “We obviously have to put him through more testing before I can accurately say that it was a concussion, non-concussion, things of that nature.”
As for him going back in the game, Kelly said medical staff cleared him initially “and they looked at him again and felt like he wasn’t prepared to go back into the game and held him out of the game.”
Milroe, meanwhile, had likely his best all-around game, putting up Daniels-like numbers. He completed 15 of 23 passes and had 20 carries, setting a Tide single-game record for rushing TDs by a quarterback. His plays included one where he plowed into safety Javien Toviano in the second quarter.
“I just wanted to set the tone throughout the game,” Milroe said. “When it’s a play like that, you just try to make the most of it. I had a lot of fun on that play.”
Daniels also passed for 219 yards with two touchdowns, while running for 163 yards and a score. His lone negative play proved a big one. Turner deflected a fourth-quarter pass into the air and Terrion Arnold intercepted it, setting up Jase McClellan’s 10-yard scoring run to push the margin to two touchdowns.
Garrett Nussmeier finished off the game and did move LSU into Alabama territory late.
Malik Nabers, the nation’s leading receiver had 10 catches for 171 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown on the Tigers’ opening drive.
Both starting quarterbacks had 100-plus rushing yards and topped 160 passing by halftime, when it was tied 21-21.
“We played good tonight. Good’s not good enough,” Kelly said. “You have to play elite when you go on the road and play a Top 10 team.”
The teams traded rushing touchdowns by Josh Williams and Roydell Williams in the third quarter.
Alabama has now avenged both its losses from last season, including a 32-31 overtime defeat to LSU and a last-play loss to Tennessee.
“It stuck with us for a while,” Williams said. “It was tough just knowing that we lost the way we did last year. We wanted to come in and do what we had to do to get the (win). That’s it.”
LSU: Picked up its third loss but played Alabama toe to toe most of the way. Totaled 478 yards to end a string of seven straight games with at least 500 yards.
Alabama: Moved one step closer to winning the SEC West. The Tide needs Mississippi to lose again or to beat either Kentucky or Auburn. The Tide went 11 of 14 on third down plays and ran for 288 yards, playing keep away from Daniels and Co.
The Tide’s Will Reichard, in his graduate year, became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer among kickers with an extra point in the third quarter. He passed Austin Seibert’s record of 499 set from 2015-18 at Oklahoma.
Alabama keeps inching back up the rankings. LSU shouldn’t fall too far — but could have bigger issues if Daniels is out.
LSU hosts Florida to start a closing three-game home stand.
Alabama visits Kentucky and has two of its last three on the road.
Get alerts on the latest AP Top 25 poll throughout the season. Sign up here ___
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football