Auburn Football can’t match Alabama’s powerful offense in the Iron Bowl loss

TUSCALOOSA — Auburn football batted first in this year’s Iron Bowl, but it was Alabama that dominated throughout.

The Tigers (5-7, 2-6 SEC) fell 49-27 to the Crimson Tide on Saturday. It is the sixth consecutive season that Auburn has left Bryant-Denny Stadium as a loser as the Tigers have not won since Cam Newton’s comeback in Tuscaloosa in 2010.

Alabama (10-2, 6-2) has now won three straight Iron Bowls and 11 of the last 15.

Carnell “Cadillac” Williams fell 2-2 as interim coach of Auburn. The university hasn’t officially announced anything, but it seems unlikely that athletics director John Cohen will select Williams as the program’s full-time coach. He can remain on the new coach’s staff if he doesn’t get the tenure, but that decision rests with whoever Cohen hires.

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Alabama’s Quick Strike Offensive

After stabbing on their first possession and allowing Auburn to score first, the Crimson Tide responded with 21 unanswered points in 8:35.

The first touchdown of that sequence was set up by a 52-yard pass on a deep cross route from quarterback Bryce Young to speedy wide receiver Jermaine Burton. Young had all day to throw, allowing Burton to sprint across the field and easily escape the defense for cover.

That game encapsulated Alabama’s offense in the first half, especially in the opening quarter. Of the three touchdown drives in the first quarter, none lasted more than three minutes and each went for 45 yards or more. The Crimson Tide averaged 9.2 yards per game in the first half and Young went into the dressing room with 264 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Self inflicted wounds

The end result could have been much tighter.

Auburn registered six penalties in the first half, with the offensive line committing five false starts. Of course, the noise and raw atmosphere at Bryant-Denny Stadium made a difference, but the penalties were grueling for an Auburn team with a small margin of error.

There were other problems too. Auburn fumbled away possession in what had a chance to be a big game early in the game. Instead, Alabama took over and extended their lead to 14 points. Another example: Young and receiver Kendrick Law had 39-yard gains in third and 19th, leading to a touchdown for the Crimson Tide a few games later.

The Tigers had to play near-perfect ball to beat Alabama and take every chance they had. It would have been difficult to do, and ultimately it didn’t happen.

Ashford starts hot

Quarterback Robby Ashford had some games Saturday that could potentially leave Auburn fans with optimism for the future.

His most impressive game came at 9:34 in the second quarter. He took the snap and had some room to scramble to the right, but more likely opted to toss a pass 20 yards down the field to wide receiver Ja’Varrius Johnson in the end zone. Johnson, running a wheel route out of the slot, had a step on cornerback assigned to him, but a safety quickly closed the gap. Ashford dropped the ball right where it needed to be and Johnson was able to put a foot down before it was led wide.

Ashford’s final stat line isn’t looking great, but he started 8-of-10 for 60 yards and a touchdown through the air, adding 49 yards early and an extra score on the ground.

Richard Silva is the Auburn beat writer for the Montgomery Advertiser. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @rich_silva18.

This article originally appeared on the Montgomery Advertiser: Auburn Football Can’t Match Alabama in Iron Bowl Loss