The grades for Auburn following its 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 struggles in the passing game continued, Ashford was brilliant on the ground and avoided making costly turnovers, something that plagued him earlier in the year. With 11 completions for 77 yards and one touchdown on 23 attempts, Ashford also racked up 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 will not finish the year with 1,000 yards, but he and Jarquez Hunter showed up once again. Combining for 197 yards, the two were a vital part of an Auburn offense that fought until the final whistle, and while Hunter’s costly first-half fumble swung all of the momentum in favor of the Tide, it was the only real mistake from the duo.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: C

Once again, the wide receiving corps was not a factor in the offense, either due to misses from Ashford or the run-focused attack designed by Will Friend. There were no egregious drops from the group, and the run blocking was good once again. 

Offensive Line: B

After last year’s Iron Bowl saw the offensive line dominated by Will Anderson, Jr., the unit stepped up to the challenge against the Crimson Tide defense and continued to build off of the momentum of the past few games. The push up front allowed for Auburn’s rushing attack to flourish with 318 yards, and pass protection was far better than a year ago, though they did give up some sacks down the stretch as Auburn had to pass the ball more.

Defensive Line: F

Missed holding calls or not, Auburn’s defensive line was supposed to be the anchor for this defense against Bryce Young. Instead, the unit was gashed repeatedly by the Alabama running game to the tune of 173 yards, and put no pressure on Bryce Young outside of a few near-misses on sacks. Auburn’s offense showed up, but the defensive line could not slow down the Alabama attack. 

Linebackers: D+

With the defensive line struggling against the Alabama offensive line, the linebacking corps had issues in short pass coverage and containing Bryce Young when he scrambled out of the pocket. Owen Pappoe secured Auburn’s one turnover of the day with a late interception, a nice send-off for the senior in his final game. Overall, the defense was crushed as a whole and this group was no exception.

Defensive Backs: F

Bryce Young and the Alabama passing attack could not be stopped as he picked apart the defensive backfield with great throws and just blown coverages across four quarters. Young was a brilliant 20-of-30 for 343 yards and three touchdowns, the one negative being the pick by Owen Pappoe near the end of the contest.

Special Teams: C+

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

Coaching: C

Cadillac and company get a lot of credit for the team not rolling over in the face of a 28-point deficit. The motto of the new coaching staff has been “fight or quit” and the team did not quit as serious underdogs on the road. However, pre-snap penalties on both sides 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, leading to the blowout loss.

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