Right off the top, let me emphasize the "amateur" tag. I've never broken down any game film in my life, so be gentle in comments.
I have watched a helluva lot of football in my life, though, so I got that goin' for me...
Before I begin the breakdown, just a few observations on the relative similarities of the two teams' seasons. As has been noted, when comparing score differentials of common opponents, they are almost identical. I wanted to go a step further, though, and compare the win/loss records of the entire schedules of each team, excluding, of course, the GOTC, and the SEC championship game(with the assumption that Bama would have done just as well).
LSU's slate of opponents had a combined record of 73-59, with 4 teams with losing records, 2 with break-even records, and 5 teams with winning records.
Alabama's, OTOH, went 72-61, also with 4 losing records, 3 break-even, and 4 winning.
Now, with the breakdown. This is the first time I have watched the replay because it was too painful before knowing whether we would get another shot against them.
The first drive started well, TR left for 15, then a 25 yd completion on the left side. Then we lost 5 going left again, picked up 8 on a pass to the right side, 4th down. Watching LSU's defense, they kept 9 to 10 guys within 6 yards of the line of scrimmage, but didn't blitz, with the possible exception of a run blitz on the 5 yd loss running left. We also picked up our first illegal substitution penalty to help kill the drive.
Second possession started on our 5 yard line, but AJ made a good read and hit Maze across the middle for 20 on third down and we got a penalty for horsecollar tackle. Cool beans! We then picked up another first down on a pass to the right side, ran left a couple more times with medium success, then ran right for 20 yard gain. Looking good!
Then, it bogs down, up the middle for 1, left for negative 5, incomplete pass, another missed FG. LSU started blitzing more here, both run and pass, to shut us down.
The third possession really hurt me to watch again. Twenty yard gain on a pass to the left, beating the honey vager again. After an incompletion, TR goes up the middle for 10. Inside the 20! Then, we lose 6 yards on a botched reverse to Maze. I had to watch that play about 4-5 times to see what went wrong. Maze was lined up to the right, as was the TE and, most critically, Trent, lined up in the backfield to the right of AJ. LSU's defense was lined up heavily to the strong side, so a well executed reverse would likely have scored. But Maze accidentally trips over Trent's foot, and falls down for the loss.
Oh, the horror. Go watch it and grab a box of kleenex on the way.
AJ gets sacked, then we miss a FG. CRAP!
LSU is still mixing in some blitzes here, but not as much as we are.
Fourth possession again starts at our 5 yard line thanks to that little skipping girly boy from Australia.(Side note-How could that country produce both Wing AND Jesse?), but we run our way out going up the gut a few times, getting 9 on the right side(moving Barrett to that side) then AJ finds TR on a blown assignment by LSU up the left side for 60 yards. The next pass is to Williams on the right side for no gain. HV makes the stop, but if AJ gets that pass out quicker, Williams has another first down. LSU shows Heavy Run Blitz on 2nd down, so of course, AJ checks out of a run up the middle, right?
Uh, no. Up the middle, no gain. Crap. Third and 10.
And then comes the play that had Saban spitting nails. AJ drops back to pass, throwing the fade to a well covered Hanks on the right side, while Brandon Gibson had slipped out to the left flat and was all alone and likely would have scored.
But at least this time we make the FG. GREAT!
Then, the defense allows LSU their only real drive of the half and makes it's only noticeable mistake on the 37 yard pass inside our 10. We were fortunate to escape with only giving up the FG after Dre was called for defensive holding and LSU had it 1st and goal at the 2. But the Bama defense bowed up, and thankfully LSU had burned all but one of their timeouts.
End of half.
The biggest things that stood out to me were the poor decisions AJ made. He threw the ball well, but he didn't always throw it to the right receiver. He also must be able to check out of a bad play at the line of scrimmage when he spots a blitz coming. I realize he is a sophomore first-year starter at QB, but if we hope to win the rematch, he must make better decisions
We left at least 17 points on the field the first time. That can't happen again.
Sorry, I know this is a long-ass, tl;dr, kind of article and my arms are hurting, but I just had to share.
Feel free to point out my senility/stupidity in the comments below.