This year’s rivalry week was unlike any other variation. There aren’t as many fans in the stands or teams playing their games. The stakes were still high for any college football teams playing their rivals this week. The #1 Alabama Crimson Tide were set to face their biggest rival, the #22 Auburn Tigers, in the 85th Annual Iron Bowl. The Tide were looking to use this rivalry matchup as a continuing example of how efficient they are as a number one ranked team. Alabama was looking for revenge in last year’s tough 48-45 loss to Auburn. Alabama got their revenge against Auburn in a huge 42-13 victory on Saturday.
#1 Alabama Dominants #22 Auburn Tigers 42-13
Mac Jones Has A Heisman-Like Performance In The Big Game
Last year Auburn was tough on Alabama in general but it was definitely tough for backup quarterback Mac Jones. He threw for four touchdowns but two interceptions that resulted in pick-sixes last year. Jones wanted a more consistent and explosive performance against Auburn to go along with his Heisman contending season. After a rough first drive, Jones and the Tide’s offense found their rhythm early and kept it throughout the game. The Tide accounted for 103 total yards and three first downs in the first quarter. In the second quarter, they were able to get into more of a rhythm as they accounted for 117 total yards and seven first downs. Jones had one of his most impactful games for Alabama this season as the running game was suppressed at times.
Jones threw for 302 yards, five touchdowns, and a quarterback rating of 230.3 on 18 completions (out of 26 passes). Senior wide receiver DeVonta Smith caught seven passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the first and third quarter. Sophomore wide receiver John Metchie caught six receptions for 55 yards and two touchdowns in the second and fourth quarter. Tight end Jahleel Billingsley caught the first touchdown of his collegiate career from a 24-yard score late. The Tide finished the game with 445 total yards accounted for with 302 of them in the passing game. The offensive line for the Tide helped push for a team rushing yard performance of 143 yards. They only allowed two sacks and three tackles for loss against an Auburn defense that can create chaos in the backfield.
Tide’s Defense Becoming More Stout
The defense for Alabama came a long way since its rough performances against Ole Miss and the first half against Georgia. Since allowing 417 total yards and 24 points, the Tide’s defense has not allowed more than 17 points and only 303 yards total yards once. Alabama was able to find holes in the offensive schemes of Auburn. The Tigers were only able to account for 347 total yards as they were suffocated at the line of scrimmage. They were not able to find some form of consistency as they tried to go away from the typical no-huddle schemes against the defense of Alabama. Auburn held the ball for 36 minutes and 30 seconds of the game for 80 plays. The Tide’s defense found holes to stop the Tigers before getting into the red zone. This despite 20 first downs from the Tigers’ offense, extending multiple drives.
Alabama held Auburn quarterback Bo Nix to 227 yards, two interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 100.2 on 23 completions (out of 38 passing attempts). Tide cornerback Josh Jobe led the team in total tackles with 10 as the Tigers often attacked with the short passing game. Outside linebacker Christopher Allen stepped in for Alabama in a big way as he constantly crashed the backfield. Allen accounted for four total tackles, three solo tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits.
Freshman outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. accounted for a sack (the first in his career) along with defensive tackle Christian Barmore. The Tide’s defense accounted for eight tackles for loss and two interceptions. True freshman star Malachi Moore was targeted seven times for only one reception of seven yards while accounting for an interception. Freshman cornerback Brian Branch was the other defender to account for an interception.
Alabama Continues Its Revenge Season
This was a huge victory for Alabama over Auburn as they continue their revenge season. They are looking like the most efficient and composed team in the nation. If they continue their dominating season with huge wins over LSU and Arkansas, they will earn a trip to the 2020 SEC Championship game as the West Division winners. The Tide are projected to win out their games and become the #1 seed for the College Football Playoffs. In the six years of the College Football Playoffs, only the LSU Tigers have won the National Championship as the #1 seed. Last season was also the first time in the six years of the CFB Playoffs where Alabama was left out.