TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- Louisiana State will carry plenty of momentum into next week's showdown at Mississippi.
Matt Mauck tossed two touchdown passes in the first half as the third-ranked Tigers routed Alabama, 27-3, in a Southeastern Conference contest.
LSU (9-1, 5-1 SEC West) posted its fourth straight win since losing at home to Florida and came within six minutes of a shutout.
Mississippi, which was idle Saturday, is the only team without a loss in SEC play and has a one-game lead over LSU. Next week's contest will decide the SEC West title.
"We made a lot of mistakes and had a lot of penalties," LSU coach Nick Saban said. "We were never able to put the game away."
However, the Tigers scored 10 points in a 78-second span early in the first quarter to take a 10-0 lead and were never seriously threatened thereafter.
"We had great team effort out there," said Mauck, who completed 24-of-36 passes for 251 yards with an interception. "Offensively, we left a few things out there, but when we needed a big play we made it and that was big tonight."
After Chris Jackson kicked a 20-yard field goal, Mauck tossed TD passes of 23 yards to Michael Clayton and four yards to Eric Edwards for a 17-0 halftime lead.
Alley Broussard's four-yard TD run made it 24-0 in the third quarter before the teams traded field goals in the fourth period.
"Tonight, we didn't play our best, so we'll have to come out next week and work harder," said Clayton, who caught 12 passes for 130 yards.
The loss assured Alabama (4-7, 2-5) of a losing season under first-year coach Mike Shula.
"They (LSU) are real good and deserving of their high ranking," Shula said. "We played Oklahoma early in the year, so we can compare them (LSU) to the top teams in the country. If Oklahoma is No. 1, they are definitely right behind them."
Brodie Croyle completed just 12-of-33 passes for 154 yards for the Crimson Tide, who were held to just 65 yards on the ground.
"Alabama is a great team," Mauck said. "I really feel for them having to go through three head coaches and a bunch of new schemes. It has to be tough."
After punting on its first six possessions, Alabama reached the LSU 40 late in the second half, but came up empty as Croyle threw an interception. The Crimson Tide finally scored on Brian Bostick's 27-yard field goal with 6:39 remaining.