Auburn may have won the coin toss, but it was one of the few victories for the Tigers in an otherwise one-sided Iron Bowl. The Crimson Tide rolled over Auburn 42-13 in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.
Auburn’s offense did not capitalize on the coin toss victory as they went three-and-out to start the game. While Auburn only had one other three-and-out in the contest, the Tigers struggled to move the ball upfield.
Auburn crossed into Alabama territory six times on 12 total offensive drives and scored on just three of them. Two of the scoring drives were 40+ yard field goals, and while the third was a touchdown, it came with the game out of reach.
The remaining drives into Alabama territory ended with a missed 56-yard field goal, an interception and a punt.
“We had a couple opportunities, but that’s the name of the game,” said head coach Gus Malzahn. “When you get in the red zone, you’ve got to score touchdowns against the No. 1 team in the country on the road. We didn’t do that. The frustrating thing for me is we never really got close enough to apply any pressure on them. They could play loose really the entire game.”
While Auburn’s offense struggled to move the ball and put points on the board, the defense had its hands full against Alabama’s offense. Auburn forced a 3-and-out to start the game, but Alabama scored touchdowns on its next three possessions following the opening drive.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones finished the day with a career-high five passing touchdowns. He ended the day 18-of-26 with 302 passing yards.
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Jones’ top two targets in the contest were DeVonta Smith and John Metchie. Smith finished with seven receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns, while Metchie ended his evening with six catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns.
“Yeah, I think it was really an us thing,” said linebacker Owen Pappoe. “We just didn’t execute the way you’re supposed to execute on certain plays. We had bad eyes, bad technique, and it ended up hurting us. With a team like this, you’ve got to play perfect. The mistakes that we made, it cost us a lot.”
Auburn falls to 5-3 on the year and still has games against Texas A&M and at Mississippi State left to round out the regular season. Nix is not going to let the loss prevent him from battling the rest of the season.
“It’s not going to keep me down,” Nix said. “I’m going to keep on battling and keep on playing and play the next play and get our guys back to next week. If you dread on the past, you’ll never make any progress. I can assure you we’ll continue to battle and continue to move forward and put this behind us and work even harder for next year.”
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