AUBURN, Ala. When it was over, the University of Alabama footballers ran across the field and gestured mockingly at the stunned Auburn fans at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn’s soldiers headed for their locker room. Some knelt, some bowed their heads. Still others stared at the sky.
The Tigers had Alabama in third place by the college football playoff selectors, for almost four quarters. They put pressure on the Crimson Tight Quarterback Price Young. They left a few yards on the ground. Alabama held the game to 68 yards in the first half.
Nevertheless, Alabama captured the Heisman Trophy and with one of the most successful coaches in the history of college football on its side, breaking a terrible 59-minute offense and beating Auburn 24-22. Saturday at four overtime.
Michigan, ranked 5th, were ahead of second-placed Ohio State, and Alabama (11-1) were poised to grab a spot in the playoff rankings to be released Tuesday night. Alabama will face No. 1 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference Championship match on Saturday in Atlanta.
The NCAA rule established at the beginning of the season changed overtime action: if a game reaches the third overtime, teams change the 2-point conversion effort until someone wins.
Auburn (6-6), who bowled first in the fourth over, failed to convert a 2-point effort into a goal. In the ensuing capture of Alabama, Young John Matchi III found the cornerback working against Roger McGregor, who spent the afternoon opposing Alabama’s receivers for a game-int score. This is the first overtime game in the 128-year history of the Iron Bowl.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said, “Most of the time, I remember the ones we lost. But I think I remember this because of the way the players competed.”
With 1 minute 35 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Young Crimson led the tie on a 97-yard scoring drive, capped by a 28-yard touchdown throw to receiver Zagori Brooks, giving Alabama their first touchdown of the day. Score, 10-10.
After the game, Messi, who caught a 22-yard pass on the scoring drive, told reporters the players had said a little on the huddle beforehand.
“Not much to say,” he said. “We know what to do. We do it practically every day. We prepare for it. That’s what we do. We prepare for difficult situations, for difficult plays.
Both teams exchanged goals in the first three overs. Following Alabama receiver Slate Bolton’s touchdown catch, Auburn quarterback DJ Finley makes a touchdown pass to London King. The second extra time ended with two field goals; A pair of 2-point transfers took third place.
The Crimson Tide, after having the second-highest scoring offense in the country, were held to a goalless draw until three-quarters of the order.
The first points of the Alabama game came in the fourth quarter, with 8:44 remaining, after defender Josh Jobe intercepted Finley’s high pass. Brian Robinson, who had been stuck in bottles until then, tore the 38th run in the next game. But he never deviated from the game plan that gave Auburn a defensive victory: win the battle in the line of battle and give Young some time to take the ball to his receivers.
Young, who broke Alabama’s single-game record against Arkansas the previous week, took his seventh game in third and goal, after which Crimson Tide kicked a field goal.
Young, who was besieged by the Rushers and besieged by the high day Auburn crowd, finished with 317 yards on 25-off-51 passes, two touchdowns and one interception.
Receiver James Williams, who led Alabama in the receiver yards (1,218) and touchdowns (13), lost his best weapon in the first half when he was sent off for a goal with nine minutes left in the second quarter. He had 43 of Alabama’s first 50 yards.
Williams ‘dismissal, one of several unusual Crimson Tide penalties (11 in total), led to the Tigers’ first score of the game: Kobe Hudson’s 15-yard touchdown catch.
Soon after Williams was ejected, Saban spoke with the other attackers on the bench. In Williams’ absence, Crimson leaned on Tide Matchy, who led the Alabama Receivers to 13 yards for 150 yards on Saturday.
“It was hard, they do my boy that way,” Messi said of Williams. “But he did a great job of not letting the game get in the way, he took everyone, he took everyone with guilt and self-defense. It’s the next man’s way.
The last Iron Bowl games show that thrilling plays should be expected when these teams meet: the “Kick-6” game in 2013; Gerrian Johnson’s Jump Pass in 2017; The Big-6 pair will be playing in the 2019 quarterback Mac Jones.
In the beginning of this game there were no such crackers. There were 17 pounds, and neither team installed a run game for 86 rushing yards.
Auburn, who entered the game to allow over 360 yards per game, revealed all the right games as the game approached its end.
Auburn coach Brian Hersin said, “We just got here.