No. 4 Auburn defeated No. 1 Alabama 34-28 in dramatic fashion to earn the Tigers the SEC’s Western Division crown. Check out the analysis and final grades here.
Alabama 28, Auburn 34, Final
For the full box score, check out NCAA.com.
|Positional Unit||1st Half Grade||Final Grade|
Final analysis for the Alabama Crimson Tide:
Pass Offense: AJ McCarron threw for 277 yards and three touchdown passes. However, despite that production, it was two bombs to Amari Cooper that resulted in 153 of those yards. Overall, Alabama was never able to get a consistent rhythm in the passing game.
Run Offense: Alabama's 215-yard rushing attack was led by T.J. Yeldon's 140-yard effort. However, Alabama was unable to get the tough yards on two possessions late in the fourth quarter that began in Auburn territory.
Pass Defense: The second of Marshall’s two touchdown passes was the big play that Auburn desperately tried to hit all game long. Alabama’s secondary had a number of breakdowns that are atypical of a Saban-coached defensive backfield.
Run Defense: Auburn ran for 296 yards, including 164 yards from Tre Mason and 99 yards from Nick Marshall. Alabama’s front seven was unable to meet the challenge in slowing down the Tigers’ powerful ground game.
Special Teams: Cade Foster was unsuccessful on all three of his field-goal attempts, and Chris Davis’ improbable 109-yard game-winning return of the last miss sealed the Tide’s fate.
Coaching: Nick Saban would definitely love a mulligan. His decision to let Adam Griffith attempt a game-winning 57-yard field-goal attempt was questionable at best considering the Tide’s placekicking struggles.
First-half analysis for the Alabama Crimson Tide:
Pass Offense: After a shaky start, AJ McCarron rebounded to throw two second-quarter touchdown passes. The receiving unit shook off some early drops and began to win the individual battle against the Tigers secondary. Six different receivers caught a pass in the first half.
Run Offense: Alabama’s offensive line controlled the action in the trenches for much of the first half. The Tide rushed for 6.8 yards per carry on their 20 first-half attempts, which fueled the Tide’s 21-point second-quarter explosion.
Pass Defense: Alabama’s secondary was fortunate that Auburn QB Nick Marshall was unable to make them pay for a bust on the Tigers' first drive. Otherwise, this unit hasn’t had much work to do with Auburn only attempting six passes in the first half.
Run Defense: Nick Marshall’s 45-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was a case of the Tide’s defense failing to maintain rushing lanes. Aside from a Landon Collins forced fumble, the Tigers enjoyed solid production on the ground in the first half.
Special Teams: Cade Foster missed a 44-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter. The kick coverage units did an excellent job in not allowing any big returns.
Coaching: After coming out tight in all three phases of the game, Alabama responded with a 21-point second quarter. Expect Saban to make some adjustments on defense at the half.