Auburn, AL (EETV)- Saturday's Iron Bowl had it all; drama, offense, costly penalties, and of course in true Iron Bowl fashion, a missed field goal from an Alabama kicker. Auburn narrowly escaped with a win as Joseph Bulovas missed a game-tying field goal with two minutes remaining.
The win for Auburn gives them a chance to be a ten win team for the ninth time in program history. Alabama is now eliminated from the College Football Playoff since its formation in 2014. Here are the takeaways from Saturday's game.
1. It May Not Have Been the Greatest Iron Bowl Ever, but it was One of the Best
After 98 total points and 9 lead changes, Auburn was able to overcome Alabama in the second highest scoring game in series history.
Alabama's offense looked as if they were playing a video game as they produced 515 total yards of offense. Jaylen Waddle was responsible for four of Alabama's touchdowns including a 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
The second quarter of this game might be remembered for a long time as 38 points were scored in the last five minutes. The second quarter as a whole produced a combined total of 48 points which left fans wondering how many they would score in the second half.
Penalties and miscues proved to be differrence yet again. Auburn would benefit in the final seconds of the first half as the officials left one second on the clock for Anders Carlson to cut Alabama's lead to 31-27 at halftime.
Alabama would make a costly mistake in the last minute of the game as they were penalized for an illegal substitution which gave Auburn a first down to eventually run out the clock.
On the sixth-year anniversary of the Kick Six, it was only fitting that Alabama would miss a field goal to give Auburn the win. With all the drama that took place in this game, it's safe to say that this game was one of the best games we've seen.
2. Auburn's Offense Came to Play
The Auburn offense came to play on Saturday as they went toe-to-toe with the high powered offense from Alabama. Bo Nix threw for 173 yards one touchdown as well as running one in himself.
Auburn's rushing attack got on track again as they would run for 181 yards on the night. Leading the way was Jatarvius Whitlow who would rush for 114 yards.
Auburn's offense may have benefitted from Alabama's defensive injuries, but the Tigers seemed to want it more as they never got down after falling behind in numerous points of the game. Bo Nix seemed more confident as he made crucial plays to keep drives alive.
This will mean wonders for the offense but also the maturation of Bo Nix as he is the first freshman quarterback to beat Alabama since Stan White in 1993. Nix also broke Stan White's freshaman record of 14 touchdown passes with a touchdown pass to Sal Cannella in the second quarter.
3. Auburn's Was Tested, but They Made Stops When They Needed it the Most
Logic would tell you that when you give up 515 yards of offense that you're probably going to lose the game, well for Auburn that wasn't the case.
Auburn's defense has faced so much adversity this season but this game was quite easily their biggest test of the year. For the first time this year, Auburn's defense gave up over 24 points in a game which was quite a stat considering who they have played this season.
The defense scored twice in the game as Smoke Monday and Zakoby McClain both had interceptions which they returned for touchdowns.
Gus Malzahn is now 19-0 as a head coach when his team has a defensive score.
Auburn could not seem to find an answer for Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle as they had five touchdowns combined. Mac Jones would throw for 335 yards in total as he had an almost perfect day.
On Alabama's final drive, the defense was holding on for dear life as the Crimson Tide were marching down the field once again. After a one yard loss on second down and a false start penalty, Derrick Brown would knock down a pass from Mac Jones which would lead to the missed field goal on fourth down.
Auburn's defense might be the story of this season as they never gave up even when things were tough. On Saturday it was tough but they showed their quality in the clutch moments.
4. Up Next
Auburn's record moves to 9-3 on the year and they finish with a winning SEC record at 5-3. Auburn will await their bowl destination which will be annouced next Sunday on ESPN's Bowl Selection Special.