AUBURN – Something big always goes down when Alabama and Auburn meet on the football field. Here is a look at some of the top moments that led to Alabama’s 48-45 loss on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium and what Nick Saban had to say about them.
Got a second?
Alabama stopped Auburn with the clock running down in the second quarter but it was ruled Auburn still had one second on the clock after getting a first down. The play was reviewed and the ruling was upheld.
Auburn’s field goal unit came on to kick a 52-yard attempt.
“The guy standing beside me said they won’t get the play off anyway,” Saban said. “They waited and waited and they wound the clock and they snapped the ball and they scored a field goal. I think you can snap the ball with one second left but whether they did or they didn’t that’s not my judgment.”
Pair of Pick Sixes
Auburn’s defense put 14 points on the board with two interception returns for touchdowns.
The first was a 29-yard return by Tiger defensive back Smoke Monday, where Alabama quarterback Mac Jones overthrew Jerry Jeudy.
The second was a crushing blow as Jones threw a pass behind Najee Harris, who tipped it into the hands of Zakoby McClain. He took it back 100 yards to give the Tigers a 37-31 lead.
“We moved the ball well enough on offense to win the game, but obviously you can’t give the other team 14 points off turnovers. That’s a problem,” Saban said.
Punt return confusion
Alabama’s defense held the Tigers to a three-and-out with about a minute to play and prepared for Auburn to punt.
Instead, the Tide got called for 12 men on the field, giving Auburn a first down and allowing the Tigers to run out the clock for the win.
Auburn had its punt team on the field but the punter was lined up wide. Alabama tried to get its regular defense back out on the field but Tide return man Jaylen Waddle wasn’t able to get off the field in time.
“I really feel it was an unfair play at the end of the game. They substituted the punter as a wide receiver and we put the punt team in. When the quarterback was still in, we tried to put the defense back in. I though they should have given us a little more time to get Waddle out as a returner.
“That was very disappointing. We are responsible for that as coaches, but it was a very unusual set of circumstances.”
Not in sync
Alabama got flagged 13 times for 96 yards including five false start calls. One happened on the Tide’s final drive with first down at the Auburn 9.
“Instead of (second)-and-9 and the 9 we have (second) down at the 15,” Saban said. “That makes it more difficult and then we miss the field goal.
“The disappointing thing is we came in here with the idea that we needed to play with discipline and not get a lot of penalties and doing our job on a consistent basis. I don’t think we did any of that great today.”
Reach Edwin Stanton at email@example.com, 205-722-0226 or via Twitter, @edwinstantonu2