11-1 , 7-1
6-6 , 3-5
Game Recap: Football | | By: Jeff Shearer
Presented by Verizon, the exclusive 5G partner of the Auburn Tigers
AUBURN, Ala. – With a ferocious pass rush and precision coverage, Auburn kept No. 3 Alabama out of the end zone until the final minute before falling 24-22 in quadruple overtime Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium in the Iron Bowl.
Bryce Young’s two-point pass to John Metchie accounted for the winning points after Auburn went first and threw an incompletion in the fourth overtime.
“There was a lot of fight from our team,” said Auburn coach Bryan Harsin. “Expect to have yourself in a position in the fourth quarter to win the game. We had those opportunities. I was proud of guys, I told them that. Proud of our fight, disappointed we lost.”
The first overtime in Iron Bowl history began with Alabama’s 6-yard touchdown pass from Young to Slade Bolden to give the Crimson Tide its first lead of the night at 17-10.
Patton delivered again in the second OT, giving Auburn a 20-17 lead with a 49-yard field goal.
Will Reichard’s 38-yard field goal sent the game to a third extra period with a 20-20 tie.
In the third overtime, a one-play shootout from the 3-yard line under new NCAA rules, Young hit Metchie for a 22-20 lead but Auburn answered when Finley rolled right and tossed back to his left to John Samuel Shenker to tie it at 22-22, sending the game to the decisive fourth OT.
“They made one more play than we did,” Harsin said. “That’s the reason why they won. We just came up short.”
Silencing Alabama’s explosive offense that averaged 44 points per game, Auburn made five sacks in the first half and held the Crimson Tide to minus-2 yards rushing while pitching a shutout.
Auburn took advantage of a short field by driving 39 yards in four plays for the only touchdown of the first half.
On third-and-14, Finley threw a back-shoulder pass to Demetris Robertson for 29 yards, Auburn’s longest gain of the game.
On the next play, Finley found Kobe Hudson in the slot 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Hudson faked out one defender and outraced another to the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown that put the Tigers ahead 7-0 with 6:50 left in the first half.
The Tigers kept up the defensive pressure in the second half, forcing a three-and-out on Alabama’s opening possession. Marcus Harris sacked Young on third-and-16, forcing a punt that Ja’Varrius Johnson returned the punt 19 yards to Alabama’s 21-yard line.
Patton’s 33-yard field goal gave Auburn a 10-0 lead with 11:43 remaining in the third quarter.
Alabama’s next drive ended when Bydarrius Knighten intercepted Young at Alabama’s 45-yard line.
On their next possession, the visitors drove to Auburn’s 19, but a mishandled hold denied Alabama a chance to attempt a 36-yard field goal, preserving the Tigers’ 10-0 lead after three quarters.
After Derick Hall ended Alabama’s next possession with a sack on fourth-and-2, the Crimson Tide intercepted Auburn’s deflected pass on the next play at Alabama’s 42-yard line.
Alabama drove to Auburn’s 7, but Hall made another sack on third-and-goal, forcing a 30-yard field goal at the 8:44 mark of the fourth quarter. Hall recorded three of Auburn’s seven sacks, a career best.
Tank Bigsby rushed for 22 yards to start Auburn’s next drive, which ended when Shedrick Jackson downed Oscar Chapman’s punt on Alabama’s 2-yard line.
After driving to their own 46, Alabama went for it fourth-and-1, but the Tigers stopped running back Trey Sanders for no gain.
After Alabama used its remaining timeouts to stop the clock, Chapman and Jackson again pinned the Crimson Tide at their 3-yard line with 1:35 to play.
Alabama drove 97 yards on 12 plays, scoring the game-tying touchdown with 24 seconds left on Young’s pass to Ja’Corey Brooks, sending the game to overtime.
The Tigers stopped Alabama 14 times on 22 third-down attempts and held the Crimson Tide to 1-of-4 on fourth down.
Auburn (6-6) will conclude the season at a bowl game with the matchup to be determined next weekend after the conference championship games.
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jeff_shearer