GAME REVIEW: Alabama 49, Auburn 27

Auburn’s season ended today in Tuscaloosa when the Tigers lost 49-27 to Alabama in the 87th Iron Bowl.

The Tigers fought hard against a team that only played for pride, and although they lost four touchdowns early in the second half, they managed a small comeback and made Alabama sweat. Robby Ashford scored two touchdowns, threw for another and led a tiger rushing charge that again eclipsed 300 yards. Meanwhile, Bryce Young threw for 343 yards and 3 points as Alabama totaled more than 500 yards of offense.

GAME REVIEW

Auburn started the game a little off balance, with a false start penalty that derailed the opening drive and resulted in a three-and-out. The Tiger defense forced Alabama to tie after just a first down, and this is where the Auburn offense began to show off a little.

A 25-yard run by Robby Ashford got the drive going, and a key pass interference penalty kept him alive in Bama territory. Ashford then went around the left end for a 24-yard scoring dive that put Auburn in the lead early in the first quarter.

That drive covered 80 yards in just 6 games, but unfortunately Alabama answered. The Tide went straight across the field on the ensuing possession, with Bryce Young scoring on a scramble from 5 yards in third place. They followed with touchdown drives that culminated in a 10-yard touchdown reception from Jase McClellan and a 5-yard run from Roydell Williams, and Bama led just one play into the second quarter at 21-7.

However, Auburn recovered and was able to find some footing. Jarquez Hunter started the next Tiger drive with a 19-yard gain, and then a few games later Ashford hit Koy Moore for 17 yards in third. Auburn was nearing the Bama 20, and then Ashford hit Ja’Varrius Johnson with a nice throw in the corner of the end zone to draw Auburn to a point.

The Tigers came up 21-14 behind, but the defense had struggled all game and continued to do so. Bryce Young led another scoring drive capped by a 32-yard touchdown on Ja’Corey Brooks and Alabama led 28-14. After the Tigers had to punt, the defense forced a Bama punt, but Keionte Scott pulled back at the last second and Bama snatched the ball, thinking he missed the punt. Officials ruled it was Bama’s ball, and replay showed Scott never touched it. The Cal stood on review, however, and Bama scored shortly after on a pass from Young to Traeshon Holden for a 35-14 lead at halftime.

Alabama effectively closed the door with a shot on goal right after the break, and Jase McClellan scored his second touchdown of the day with a short jab to make it 42-14. However, Robby Ashford followed with his second touchdown run of the day, keeping Auburn within reach as he closed the gap to 42-21.

Auburn added two field goals late in the game to draw within two points and they attempted an onside kick with just over two minutes to go 42-27. Alabama covered easily and returned the kick deep into Auburn territory, and Jahmyr Gibbs scored a late touchdown on a toss game to put the Tide ahead 49-27, and Auburn’s final drive stayed short of scoring the Tiger’s back.

FINAL STATISTICS

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Robby Ashford was fantastic in that game, playing hard despite his injury and having his best game as a quarterback. With no turnovers, he ran around the Crimson Tide defense and was able to hold Auburn inside it, despite the defense struggling to stop Alabama’s offense.

He went 11-23 through the air for 77 yards and a touchdown but ran 17 times for 121 yards and 2 points.

NEXT

There’s a chance the Tigers could end up 5-7 in a bowl game with a high APR score, but that would require some other teams to lose and not achieve bowl eligibility. As it stands now, the season is over.

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