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Upon Further Review: Alabama 24, Auburn 22 (4OT)

Bama Central on FanNation logo Bama Central on FanNation 11/28/2021 Christopher Walsh
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The last word on the Crimson Tide's amazing comeback win in the 86th Iron Bowl, played at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Where do you even begin with a game like that? 

Was it the oddest, weirdest, most unusual game in Iron Bowl history? 


Probably among those Alabama won. Otherwise, it's a discussion college football experts could wrestle with for a long time. 

To try and put a little perspective on it, consider the following: 

The teams teams combined for 26 tackles for a loss, with 15 sacks. 

Alabama out-gained Auburn in the fourth quarter 217-33. 

Even with the new overtime rules, there was more scoring after regulation than during the first four quarters. 

That only begins to cover some of the abnormal. To help with that we dust off the old format for Upon Further Review (which thinking about bringing back next season), with "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." 

The Good: Over the last two games, junior wide receiver John Metchie III has 23 receptions for 323 yards. He's also topped 100 receiving yards in four his last five SEC games. The 15 receptions against Auburn were a career high. 

The Bad: Auburn had seven sacks in the game. Opponents have registered 36 sacks this season. That's the most of the Nick Saban era. The previous high was 32 in 2010. 

The Ugly: The offense in the first half. The longest drive was six plays for 34 yards. Plus, Alabama's running back situation. If Brian Robinson Jr. (ankle) can't go next week in the SEC Championship Game, the Crimson Tide will be down to Trey Sanders and a couple of players converted from other positions. 

Here are our weekly awards: 

Player of the Game: The entire defense. Alabama gave up 159 total yards. On 66 plays, Auburn averaged just 2.4 yards per snap. The scoring drives in regulation were just 39 and five yards long. 

Play of the Game: On third-and-10 at the Auburn 28, Young connected with freshman Ja'Corey Brooks in the corner of the end zone to cap a 12-play, 97-yard drive that was executed in one minute and 11 seconds of game time.  

Statistic of the Game: At halftime, Alabama had four first downs, 68 total yards (including minus-2 rushing), and 64 yards in penalties. Yet the Crimson Tide still won without the benefit of having more forced turnovers. 

Five things to note

1. Coming in, Brooks had two career receptions for the Crimson Tide, for 31 yards. His biggest play had been was blocked punt against Texas A&M.

2. Overshadowed on offense: On fourth-and-7 at the Auburn 42, who did Young throw to? Tight end Jahleel Billingsley for what was probably the biggest catch of his career and the needed first down. 

3. Overshadowed on defense: Cornerback Josh Jobe's diving interception off a tipped ball gave Alabama a first down at its own 42 with 11:50 remaining. It led to Will Reichard's 30-yard field goal to finally put the Crimson Tide on the scoreboard. 

4. Overshadowed on defense II: Safety Jordan Battle. When Auburn had first down at the Alabama 46 with exactly 2 minutes remaining, the Tigers may have needed just one first down to run out the clock. Battle stopped Tank Bigsby for a 1-yard loss on first down. On second down, Bigsby had a 10-yard gain, but Battle was smart enough to get the running back out of bounds (and short of the first down). On third-and-1, Bigby was stuffed for a 4-yard loss by Byron Young and Henry To'oTo'o. Auburn had to punt having used up just 25 seconds.  

5. Linebacker Christian Harris led all defensive players in overtime with three tackles, including a 3-yard loss and two stops for no gain. Safety Daniel Wright, who had an interception nullified by a penalty earlier in the game, also had a sack in extra time.

Plus Five

1. Alabama's opponents haven't scored a point off a turnover since the Texas A&M game on Oct. 9. 

2. This was the first time Young didn't complete 50 percent of his passes. Auburn defenders broke up seven passes and Alabama had numerous drops. His passer rating was a season-low 110.3. Also, Alabama's 52 pass attempts were a season high, including 51 by Young. Paul Tyson had the over attempt following the dropped snap on the botched field-goal.

3. Opponents haven't missed a field goal against Alabama this season. They're 12-for-12. 

4. Alabama defenders were credited with 46 solo tackles, compared to just 16 assists. It led to stat lines like this one for Auburn's Ja'Varrius Johnson: Team-high four receptions, for 7 total yards, and 15 yards after the catch. 

5. Auburn started five possessions in Alabama territory. 


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