The 88th Iron Bowl was one to remember as Alabama came from behind to beat Auburn 27-24 on Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
On the 10th-year anniversary of the “Kick Six,” Alabama returned the favor with its own memorable game-winning play on “4th and 31”. With the game on the line, Jalen Milroe connected with Isaiah Bond on a 4th and 31-yard touchdown pass to give Alabama the lead.
Here are five takeaways from a memorable Iron Bowl.
Penalties have been a thorn in the side of Alabama all season long, and if not for the amazing play of Jalen Milroe, it would have cost Alabama an Iron Bowl victory. The Crimson Tide were penalized eight times for 72 yards, but two of the eight were more costly than the others. Alabama had two touchdowns called back because of penalties, bringing the season total to eight touchdowns neglected by penalties.
Busted Coverage In the Secondary
The Alabama secondary wasn’t asked to do too much in defending the pass, but when their number was called, they failed to do so. Auburn was held to just 93 passing yards, but in key situations, the coverage broke down, leaving wide-open targets to extend Auburn scoring drives.
Defense Gets Embarrassed on the Ground
Alabama prides itself on stopping the run, but the Tide did not perform up to their standard on Saturday. On the other side of the ball, the best thing Auburn does offensively is run the ball, and the Tigers took it to Alabama. Auburn rushed for 244 yards, led by 93 yards from running back Jarquez Hunter. Damari Alston also contributed 85 rushing yards and a touchdown. Having so much success on the ground with Alabama knowing Auburn couldn’t pass the ball was impressive from the Auburn rushing attack.
Milroe Puts the Team On His Back
Jalen Milroe continues to get better with each game he plays, and he had to put the team on his back to preserve Alabama’s hopes of making the College Football Playoffs on Saturday. Milroe protected the football, throwing for 259 yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown was the most important of the night, hitting Isaiah Bond for a 31-yard touchdown pass on 4th and 31. Milroe also contributed 107 rushing yards on 18 carries.
Reichard Not Perfect but Ties NCAA Record
Alabama kicker Will Reichard missed another field goal but did enough to tie the NCAA all-time scoring record. Reichard was perfect on extra points, hitting all three of his attempts. On field goal attempts, Reichard went 2-for-3 with his lone miss from 42 yards that would have given Alabama the lead at the time. With his nine points on Saturday, Reichard now has 530 points in his career, tying the NCAA record going into the SEC Championship game against Georgia.
Alabama will play Georgia on December 2 in the SEC Championship Game at 3 p.m. CT. CBS will carry the broadcast.
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