For the second time in three weeks, the No. 6 Auburn Tigers (10-2, 7-1) have taken down the number one team in all the land. Auburn took down rival Alabama (11-1, 7-1) 26-14 in the 82nd edition of the Iron Bowl Saturday.
More importantly for Auburn, this means they've captured the SEC West crown and will now face Georgia in the SEC Championship game Dec. 2.
Auburn literally jumped out to and early 7-0 lead on its second possession of the game. Auburn pulled a page from the old Florida Gators playbook, and called a jump pass on the goal line. Instead of Jarrett Stidham throwing the pass though, it was Kerryon Johnson throwing the pass to Nate Craig-Myers.
The jump pass capped off a 94-yard drive.
Alabama would answer. After a fumble by both teams and several punts, Jalen Hurts hooked up with Jerry Jeudy for a 36-yard touchdown score in the second quarter.
Daniel Carlson added a 33-yard field goal just before half to secure a 10-7 lead into the break for the Tigers.
Alabama wouldn't go away though. The No. 1 team in the country responded like everyone expected them to. The Crimson Tide opened the second half with the football and went 79 yards in just five plays to take the lead. Bo Scarbrough carried it in from 21 yards out to give Alabama its first lead of the game.
Alabama's opening drive in the second half was only 45 yards less than what the Tide amassed the entire first half altogether, which was 124.
Auburn wouldn't trail for long. Daniel Carlson cut into Auburn's 14-10 deficit by drilling a 44-yard field goal. On Auburn's following drive, Johnson punched it in on the ground. His second total touchdown of the game, both coming in the third quarter.
Johnson finished with 104 yards rushing on 30 carries a rushing touchdown as well as that first quarter passing touchdown.
Now down 20-14 in the third quarter perhaps the Alabama Crimson Tide began to feel the pressure.
Just as it looked like Alabama was about to cut into Auburn's 20-14 lead, the punter JK Scott fumbled the hold on the field goal kick, and the Tide came away with 0 points at the 8-minute mark in the third.
That play turned out to be a turning point in the game as Auburn followed that drive with another touchdown. This time it was Jarrett Stidham, the star-quarterback for Auburn who transferred into this rivalry.
It was in the fourth quarter when Stidham raced around the left edge for 16 yards, barreling into the end zone and increasing Auburn's lead to 12 points after Carlson's extra point.
Stidham finished 21-of-28 for 237 yards through the air, and added an additional 51 yards on the ground. His counterpart Jalen Hurts finished 13-for-23 for 177 yards and one touchdown for the Crimson Tide.
Auburn wide receiver Ryan Davis set the single-season Auburn receptions record on his way to an 11-reception 139-yard game.
The story all game was Alabama's inability to convert on third down offensively versus Auburn's conversion rate. Up to the third quarter, Alabama was 0-for-6 on third downs. By the time they did convert a third down, the Crimson Tide was trailing 26-14. Auburn on the other hand was 9-of-18 on Saturday on third downs.
With a chance late in the fourth quarter to get the ball back with 7 minutes on the game clock, Alabama jumped off sides on fourth-and-3, giving Auburn a first down and more time to eat off the clock.
Alabama would eventually get the ball back, but couldn't convert on downs, turning it back over to the Tigers.
Auburn and Georgia will meet in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium Dec. 2 for the SEC Championship game. These two teams met Nov. 11 in Jordan-Hare Stadium and it's a game still fresh on the minds of both teams. Then No. 10 Auburn took down then No. 1 Georgia 40-17. What will the season's second meeting bring?
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