Auburn’s testimony after the 87th Iron Bowl

The grades for Auburn after their third straight loss to Alabama.

Quarterbacks: B

Robby Ashford had his best performance of the season in his team’s loss to Alabama. While his passing struggles continued, Ashford was brilliant on the ground and avoided making costly turnovers that had plagued him earlier in the year. With 11 completions for 77 yards and one touchdown on 23 attempts, Ashford also had 121 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. It was a big step for Ashford in his first Iron Bowl.

Running backs: A

Tank Bigsby won’t end the year with 1,000 yards, but he and Jarquez Hunter showed up again. With a 197-yard combination, the two were integral to an Auburn offense that struggled to the final whistle, and while Hunter’s costly first-half fumble turned the entire momentum in Tide’s favor, it was the duo’s only real mistake.

Wide receivers/tight ends: C

Once again, the wide receiving corps wasn’t a factor on offense, either due to missed shots from Ashford or Will Friend’s run-oriented attack. There weren’t any egregious drops from the group, and barrel blocking was good once again.

Offensive line: B

After Will Anderson, Jr. dominating the offensive line at last year’s Iron Bowl, the unit took on the challenge against the Crimson Tide Defense and continued to build on the momentum of the past few games. The push-up front allowed Auburn’s rushing attack to thrive at 318 yards, and pass protection was far better than a year ago, though they gave up a few sacks down the stretch as Auburn needed to pass the ball more.

Line of Defence: F

Missed calls or not, Auburn’s defensive line should be the anchor for this defense against Bryce Young. Instead, the unit took repeated hits from 173-yard run play from Alabama and put no pressure on Bryce Young aside from a couple of near misses on sacks. Auburn’s offense showed, but the defensive line failed to slow Alabama’s attack.

Linebackers: D+

With the defensive line battling Alabama’s offensive line, the linebacking corps had trouble covering short passes and containing Bryce Young as he climbed out of the pocket. Owen Pappoe secured Auburn’s only turnover of the day with a late interception, a nice send-off for the senior in his last game. Overall, the defense as a whole was crushed and this group was no exception.

Defender: F

Bryce Young and Alabama’s passing attack couldn’t be stopped as he ripped through the defensive backcourt with great throws and blasted cover for four quarters. Young was a brilliant 20-of-30 for 343 yards and three touchdowns, the only downside being the choice of Owen Pappoe late in the contest.

Special teams: C+

Alex McPherson was great once again, going 2-on-2 as the field kicker in his first-ever Iron Bowl. Punter Oscar Chapman continued to show why he’s in contention for the Ray Guy Award with another solid day for the Tigers. Auburn’s kickoff coverage continued to struggle in the back half of the season, and a costly muted punt from Keionte Scott allowed Alabama to extend their lead before halftime.

Coach: C

Cadillac and co get a lot of credit for not tipping over the team from a 28-point deficit. The motto of the new coaching staff was “fight or quit” and the team did not give up as serious underdogs on the road. However, pre-snap penalties on either side of the ball killed offensive possessions and made Bryce Young’s job easier. The defensive game plan was picked apart like cotton candy by Bill O’Brien and his talented unit, resulting in the blowout loss.

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