Top-ranked Alabama trounces No. 22 Auburn
Led by Mac Jones’ five touchdown passes, top-ranked Alabama crushed its biggest rival Auburn, 42-13 at home in SEC play on Saturday.
The Crimson Tide (8-0, 8-0 SEC) avenged last year’s defeat against the No. 22 Tigers (5-3, 5-3) despite playing without coach Nick Saban, who tested positive earlier in the week for COVID-19.
According to the CBS broadcasting crew, it marked the first time Saban missed a game since 1973 (when he was a graduate assistant at Kent State) to attend his father’s funeral.
Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian handled the head coaching duties as Alabama’s potent offense (averaging 48.5 points through eight games) didn’t miss a beat.
Jones led Alabama, which now leads the all-time series 47-37-1, by completing 18 of 26 passes for 302 and tossing a pair of touchdowns each to receivers DeVonta Smith and John Metchie III.
Smith caught seven passes for 171 yards while Metchie caught six passes for 55 yards.
Auburn sophomore quarterback Bo Nix completed 23 of 38 passes for 227 yards, but was intercepted once each by freshmen defensive backs Malachi Moore and Brian Branch.
Nix’s 1-yard quarterback sneak with 4:39 left in the fourth quarter snapped a streak of 12 consecutive quarters for Alabama’s defense without allowing a touchdown.
Auburn did not produce a play longer than 20 yards until Nix found junior receiver Shedrick Jackson for a 37-yard completion with 12:35 left in the third. The play set up the second of Anders Carlson’s two field goals and cut Alabama’s lead to 21-6. But the Tide quickly answered when Smith caught a short pass from Jones and turned it into a 58-yard touchdown.
Senior running back Najee Harris was relatively quiet until late in the third quarter when he broke loose for his FBS-leading 17th rushing touchdown from 39 yards out to give Alabama a 35-6 lead. Harris finished with 96 yards on 11 carries.
Auburn freshman Tank Bigsby (hip) played, but finished with only 39 yards on 11 carries. Auburn amassed 120 yards rushing, led by freshman Mark-Antony Richards’ 57 yards on 14 carries.
–Field Level Media