NCAA Game Summary - Alabama at Auburn|
(Friday, November 27th)
Final Score: (2) Alabama 26, Auburn 21
Auburn, AL (Sports Network) - Greg McElroy led a 15-play, 79-yard drive that
resulted in a four-yard touchdown pass to Roy Upchurch with 1:24 to go, and
second-ranked Alabama kept its undefeated season and national title hopes
alive with a gutsy 26-21 win over Auburn in the annual Iron Bowl.
McElroy finished the game with 218 passing yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-
31 throws for the Crimson Tide (12-0, 8-0 SEC), who wrapped up a second
consecutive undefeated regular season and will meet Florida December 5 in the
conference championship for a likely BCS title game berth.
Julio Jones caught nine passes for 83 yards, including four receptions for 33
yards and two third-down conversions on the game-winning drive, for Alabama,
which has won two straight in this series after losing the previous six to the
Colin Peek added three catches for 53 yards and a score, while Trent
Richardson had 15 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. Mark Ingram was
limited to 30 yards on 16 carries in the win.
Chris Todd threw for 181 yards with two touchdowns and one interception on 15-
of-25 passing for Auburn (7-5, 3-5), which actually led for most of the game
but lost its second straight contest. Darvin Adams caught four passes for 138
yards and a score, and Terrell Zachery added a 67-yard rushing TD early in the
The game was tied, 14-14, at halftime, and both teams went three-and-out to
begin the second half.
Auburn got the ball back at its own 24 after an Alabama punt and went ahead
quickly. On the second play of the series, the Tigers picked up a corner blitz
perfectly, and Todd found Adams streaking down the right sideline for an easy
72-yard pitch-and-catch for a touchdown.
Leigh Tiffin got the Tide back to within four on a 27-yard field goal with 5
1/2 minutes left in the third, and, following an Alabama interception, Tiffin
drilled a 31-yarder just before the end of the quarter for a 21-20 game.
Auburn had a prime opportunity to extend its lead but didn't take advantage.
A Clinton Durst punt pinned the Tide inside their own five, and Alabama went
three-and-out. The Tigers got the ball back on the opposing 44-yard line but
just moved backwards, and Alabama forced a punt that gave it the ball on its
own 21 with 8:27 to play.
McElroy converted a pair of third downs early in the series. On 3rd-and-3 from
the 28, he hit Jones on a crossing route for nine yards, and on 3rd-and-5 from
the 42, Jones had a six-yard reception for another first down with just under
five minutes left.
Two more pass completions to Jones -- for 11 and seven yards -- put Alabama at
the Auburn 28, as the clock ticked under three minutes, and a screen pass to
Richardson gained 16 yards down to the 11-yard line.
McElroy handed the ball to Richardson for each of the next two plays for a
total of seven yards, bringing the clock down to 1:29 after Auburn called a
pair of timeouts. On 3rd-and-3 from the four, McElroy rolled out to his right
and hit Upchurch perfectly in stride for a touchdown and a 26-21 lead with
1:24 left following an unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt.
"To get behind in the game 14-0, we never lost our poise and kept playing
every play in the game," said Alabama coach Nick Saban. "We gave up a big play
in the second half and we just kept playing through it. That may have been one
of the greatest drives I have ever been associated with in the fourth quarter
to win the game."
On the ensuing Auburn possession, Todd led the Tigers to the Alabama 37 after
a 17-yard pass to Adams with three seconds left. He quickly spiked the
ball, leaving one second on the clock, and heaved a desperation pass into
the end zone as time expired, but the ball was knocked to the ground to end
Auburn used some gutsy play-calling to take an early 14-point lead.
On the Tigers' first possession, they called an end-around for Zachery, who
weaved his way through the entire Alabama defense for a 67-yard touchdown run.
Auburn then called an onside kick, which kicker Wes Byrum recovered to give
the Tigers the ball back at their own 42. A 22-yard pass from Todd to Adams on
2nd-and-15 from midfield helped move the chains, and an unsportsmanlike
conduct penalty on the Tide helped Auburn gain 1st-and-goal from the eight.
On 3rd-and-goal from the 1, Tate was stopped for no gain, but the Tigers chose
to go for it on fourth down. The decision worked out, as Todd threw a
touchdown pass to Eric Smith in the front part of the end zone for a 14-0 lead
less than 10 minutes into the game.
Alabama, though, responded by tying the game in the second quarter.
Richardson capped a 10-play, 58-yard drive with a two-yard scamper into the
end zone on the fourth play of the second quarter, and the Crimson Tide got
the ball back after forcing a pair of Auburn punts.
Alabama needed to go only 45 yards to record the game-tying score, which was a
33-yard pass from McElroy to Peek with 5 1/2 minutes until the break.
Alabama leads the all-time series between the two rivals, 40-33-1...Auburn
outgained the Tide, 332-291, and held Alabama to only 73 yards rushing...The
Tigers committed eight penalties for 68 total yards, while Alabama was
penalized four times for 26 yards...Ingram suffered a hip pointer, but the
injury is not believed to be serious.
11/27 21:18:05 ET