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Auburn can't hold off Alabama in the Iron Bowl
Montravius Adams and Auburn's defense kept it close in the first half
Nov. 26, 2016

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Auburn's defense kept it close into the third quarter, but it couldn't stop Alabama from breaking away for a 30-12 victory in the Iron Bowl in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.

Auburn was close at the half, trailing 13-9. But Alabama scored two touchdowns in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter to go up 27-9. It was enough as the Tigers played without injured starting quarterback Sean White for the second straight week.

No. 1 Alabama improved to 12-0. No. 13 Auburn fell to 8-4 and now will wait to see where it will go bowling.

Alabama had most of the yards in the first half, but Auburn was right there. But the game turned in the third quarter. Jalen Hurts' 38-yard touchdown pass to ArDarius Stewart made it Alabama 27, Auburn 9 with 5:16 left in the third quarter. Daniel Carlson's fourth field goal of the game, a 27-yarder, cut the lead to 27-12.

"I am proud of our guys the way they competed," said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. "The defense played extremely well until they got worn down."

Auburn's defense tried, but tired as Alabama ran 81 plays to the Tigers' 45. Alabama had the ball twice as long as Auburn. 

"Offensively, we just didn't get first downs."

"We didn't get it done late."

Auburn did the most with a limited offense in the first half. Alabama outgained Auburn 263-31 in the first two quarters, yet the Tigers were very much in the game, trailing 13-9 thanks to three Carlson field goals.

Stephen Roberts set up one of those with a 58-yard punt return. Auburn recovered a fumble to set up another. The next was the longest drive of the first half, 19 yards.

Carlson hit field goals of 42, 52 and 39 yards. Alabama countered with two Adam Griffith field goals and a 17-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to Damien Harris.

Hurts scored on a 4-yard run and then threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to ArDarius Stewart to make it 27-9 with 5:16 left in the third quarter.

"It was an uphill battle from then," Malzahn said. "The defense was on the field too long. That was really the story of the day."

The longest pass play of the season, a 55-yard from John Franklin III to Eli Stove, then set up Carlson's fourth field goal to cut it to 27-12. That was the 67th field goal of his career, moving him up to eighth best in SEC history.

Griffith's third field goal made it 30-12 with 12:46 left in the fourth.

Auburn ran just 20 plays in the first half. Alabama ran 44 plays, 26 of which were passes.

Kamryn Pettway, the SEC's leading rusher who had been sidelined the previous two games with a leg injury, had 11 rushing yards in the first half. He finished with 17 yards.

"Obviously, he's not 100 percent. But he wanted to play," Malzahn said..

Check back for updates and comments from coach Gus Malzhan...

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:


 

 

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