Auburn shocks No. 1 Alabama on final play of Iron Bowl
By Charlie Potter
AUBURN—Top-ranked Alabama watched its perfect season slip away as Auburn cornerback Chris Davis returned a last-second field goal attempt 100 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
The No. 4 Tigers (11-1, 7-1 SEC) upset the Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1) Saturday night in Jordan-Hare Stadium 34-28 in an Iron Bowl for the ages. Auburn’s victory placed the Tigers in the Southeastern Conference championship game against Missouri.
Senior quarterback AJ McCarron could only watch Davis weave his way through Alabama’s field goal team toward the endzone.
“It was emotional,” McCarron said. “It is one of those crazy plays. It is almost like a video game.”
Cade Foster had missed three field goals in the game, and Nick Saban elected to send out Adam Griffith with one second left on the clock. The kick was short, and Davis was waiting in the shadow of the goalposts to catch the miss. He scored with no time remaining on the game clock.
“We knew they had a guy back there and that we had to fan and cover it,” Saban said. “That was not a great way to lose the game.”
Auburn gashed the Crimson Tide with 296 rushing yards. But it was Nick Marshall’s play with his feet and arm that propelled the Tigers to victory in this rivalry game.
Marshall completed 11-of-16 of his passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 99 yards on 17 carries for a score.
“On some plays we messed up on our technique and he made us pay,” senior linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “And some plays he made on his own. He’s a good player. They’ve been doing that all year.”
McCarron led Alabama’s offense with 17-of-29 passing for 277 yards and three touchdowns, including a 99-yard strike to Amari Cooper in the fourth quarter.
But it wasn’t enough to salvage a win and keep the Crimson Tide at the forefront of the national championship discussion. Now, Alabama will wait and see its fate following the conference championships.
“Stuff happens,” senior wide receiver Kevin Norwood said. “You have got to move on. Life moves on,”