No. 1 Alabama Football Falls to No. 6 Auburn, 26-14
The top-ranked University of Alabama football team fell to No. 6 Auburn, 26-14, Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 SEC) fell for the first time this season to the Tigers (10-2, 7-1 SEC) in the 82nd Iron Bowl.
Sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts finished the game going 13-of-23 for 177 yards and a score, while leading the Tide in rushing with 80 yards on 17 carries.
On the defensive side of the ball, freshman linebacker Dylan Moses ended the game with a team-high 10 tackles, while senior linebacker Rashaan Evans had nine tackles, one for a loss, and one quarterback hurry.
The two teams traded punts to open up the game before Auburn got on the board after driving 94 yards in 12 plays, finishing with a three-yard jump pass to put the Tigers up 7-0 with 4:38 remaining in the opening quarter.
Following an Alabama fumble on its own end of the field, Auburn took over at the UA 44-yard line. The Tigers proceeded to drive down to the Tide’s four-yard line, before a low snap on third-and-goal could not be corralled by quarterback Jarrett Stidham, and was recovered by junior defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne to end the first quarter.
After the Auburn fumble, both teams were forced to punt before the Crimson Tide got the ball back at its own 39-yard line. Six plays into the UA drive, Hurts converted a crucial fourth-and-one with a three-yard run from the Auburn 39-yard line to keep the offense on the field and improve the Tide to 13-of-13 on fourth down conversions this season.
On the next play from scrimmage, Hurts found freshman wide receiver Jerry Jeudy who came down with the football in the end zone for a career-long 36-yard touchdown reception. With the touchdown pass, Hurts moved his career touchdown responsibility total up to 59, moving the sophomore into sole possession of second place on the UA career touchdown responsibility list. Following senior place kicker Andy Pappanastos’ point after attempt, the game was tied 7-7 with 8:31 left in the first half.
Both teams punted before AU took over at the UA 49-yard line with 2:53 remaining in the half. Auburn drove down to the UA 16-yard line in seven plays before converting a 33-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to take the 10-7 advantage.
Alabama responded to start the second half by gaining 79 yards on five plays, capped off by junior running back Bo Scarbrough flying down the left side and into the end zone for the 21-yard score. Following the Pappanastos kick, the Tide was back on top 14-10 with 13:22 left in the third quarter.
The Auburn offense answered with a nine play 52-yard scoring drive that ended with a 44-yard field goal splitting the uprights, to cut the Alabama lead to 14-13 with 10:12 remaining in the third quarter.
After a Crimson Tide punt, the Tigers scored for the second-straight time, putting together a 12 play 69-yard drive that was finished off by a one-yard touchdown run to give Auburn a 20-14 advantage with 3:02 left in the third quarter.
Following the AU touchdown, freshman Trevon Diggs gave UA great field position by returning the ensuing kickoff 55 yards to the Auburn 39-yard line. Five plays later, Alabama could not capitalize after senior punter JK Scott bobbled the snap on the field goal attempt, giving the ball back to the Tigers with 53 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Auburn scored for the fourth-consecutive drive, on a 16-yard touchdown run to finish off the seven play 74-yard scoring drive. The Tigers’ two-point conversion failed, keeping the score at 26-14 with 12:49 left in the game.
On the next Alabama drive, the Tide drove into Auburn territory before turning the ball over on a fourth-and-three from the AU 33-yard line.
The Alabama defense came up with a stop to give the ball back to the offense with 5:33 remaining in the game, and turned the ball over on downs for the third-straight drive.
Alabama will discover where they will play next on Dec. 3 when the College Football Playoff committee announces Playoff Semifinal matchups and New Year’s bowl pairings.