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Nick Marshall, Sammie Coates have game for record book
Nov. 30, 2014

Sammie Coates brings home a touchdown catch against Alabama

By Charles Goldberg

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Iron Bowl records tumbled through the night.

Highest scoring game in the rivalry? Yes.

Most yards ever against Alabama, anywhere? Absolutely.

The biggest passing game by a quarterback in Auburn history? Yes, again.

Alabama's 55-44 win Saturday night was a night to flip through the record books, like seeing Auburn's 630 yards were the most ever in this series, or the teams combined for a record 99 points.

"We knew we had to make plays, and we did that," said receiver Sammie Coates. "The O-line blocked the whole game, gave Nick time to throw perfect balls and I had to finish the play with a catch, and I did."

Nick would be Nick Marshall, the Auburn quarterback who threw for a school-record 456 yards against one of the top defenses in America. His 505 total yards were the most in school history. His favorite target was Coates. Or was it Duke Williams? 

Coates had more yards, 206 of them than any Auburn receiver ever to play in an Iron Bowl. He and receiving mate Duke Williams combined to have more yards, 327 of those, than any receiving tandem in the history of the rivalry. 

"They can't double Sammie and can't double him also. It opened our offense," Marshall said.

Both Coates and Williams have had knee issues during various times in the season. Williams didn't play in the two games leading up to this. But he led Auburn with the most catches, seven, for 121 yards Saturday.

"He wanted to play bad. He played his heart out. He made big plays. He's a playmaker," Coates said.

"I was very motivated for the seniors," Williams said, "because this was their last Iron Bowl. I just wanted them to finish on a good note."

The game was a seesaw, with Auburn leading by as many as 12 and then losing by as many as 19.  Through it all, Coates reason, "You just got to keep putting up numbers."

Marshall did, completing 27-of-43 passes for those 456 yards and three touchdowns.

"He started throwing the ball hot, and he just kept throwing hot the rest of the night," Coates said. "When you have somebody like that making plays, you've got just to let him play his game."

Marshall stayed hot. So did Coates and Williams. But so did Blake Sims and Amari Cooper for Alabama. Sims passed for 312 yards and Cooper, who came in the game with 90 catches this season, had 13 more receptions for 223 yards and three TDs.

Coates said Auburn has some "ups and downs" this season, but "we can't give up.

"We're going to win the bowl game."

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



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