I have no words of my own to express my feelings on this game. This in state rivalry is huge for Alabamians. We are now 12-0 and we will play Florida next Saturday for the SEC Championship. Florida is a great team. It will be a tough game. But if we win, we will be in line for the National Championship game. This season has far exceeded any expectations I had for the team this year.
The article below details the game and our 36-0 victory over Auburn. It is courtesy of The Tuscaloosa News and sports writer Cecil Hurt.
TUSCALOOSA Like his famous father before him, Leigh Tiffin has now kicked a field goal as the clock ticked down to 0:00, one that gave the University of Alabama football team all the points it needed to beat the Auburn Tigers.
Of course, this kick came at the end of the first quarter and the Crimson Tide added 33 points of icing on the cake, pounding Auburn, 36-0, to record its most lopsided victory in the in-state series in 46 years.
Still, Alabama’s defense was so dominant, limiting Auburn to just 170 total yards, including just eight yards rushing in the second half, it felt likely that Tiffin’s first-quarter field goal would probably hold up.
“It’s sweet to be able to finish those guys off, especially after not being able to beat them so far,” said Crimson Tide senior quarterback John Parker Wilson. “It’s great to come out and finish.
“We were able to wear them down, the way we were running the ball, and we pretty much made them quit.”
“We were able to control the line of scrimmage,” said Tide head coach Nick Saban. “We were able to run it on them and they couldn’t run it on us, and that put their quarterback in a position where he had to try to beat us in different ways.”
None of those ways worked for Tiger quarterback Kodi Burns, who was 9 of 23 for 113 yards on a misty afternoon.
The game started as anticipated, a defensive struggle. It was more of a struggle for Alabama on its early possessions, thanks to a pair of deft Clinton Durst punts that pinned UA inside its 10-yard line.
On the second of those possessions, though, Alabama (12-0, 8-0 SEC) was able to power its way into Auburn territory. That drive culminated on a 37-yard field goal by Tiffin, but with the field position flipped, Auburn never really had the Tide in jeopardy again.
“When you are in that situation, you just talk about getting first downs,” Wilson said. “You don’t get too far ahead of yourselves. You get one, you get another and then you start moving. We just got a field goal, but it was a big drive.”
The next Tide march started after a short Dunst punt put Alabama its 35. With better field position, Alabama scored on a four-play drive, capped by Glen Coffee’s 41-yard run for the touchdown.
Auburn’s deepest penetration and its only legitimate scoring chance came late in the first half. Burns scrambled for two solid gainers and the Tigers got to the Alabama 24-yard line with five seconds remaining before halftime. Tiger kicker Morgan Hull then booted the ball through the uprights — but not before the Tide bench had called timeout.
On Hull’s second attempt, his low kick was blocked by Bobby Greenwood, preserving Alabama’s 10-0 lead.
In the second half, the gap widened significantly. Auburn contributed to its own problems with three turnovers, all fumbles, but the Tigers were never able to move deeper than the Alabama 47-yard line as the No. 1-ranked Tide pulled away.
The first fumble, a Brad Lester bobble, put Alabama in business at the Tiger 39 and UA delivered the knockout punch on the ensuing play. Wilson rolled to the right and found fellow senior Nikita Stover behind the AU defense for a touchdown. Tiffin’s PAT was blocked, but Alabama led, 16-0.
Three plays later, Burns bobbled a snap and the Crimson Tide’s Terrence Cody recovered at the Auburn 45.
This time, the Tide’s march was more methodical, but equally effective. Freshman Mark Ingram set the Tide up by taking a short pass from Wilson and gaining 27 yards to convert a third-and-14 situation. Five plays later, Ingram capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
After that, it was time to examine Auburn’s luggage for hotel towels and complimentary soap because the Tigers had essentially checked out.
Alabama’s next drive covered 50 yards, with Ingram ripping for the final 34 on three carries, including his second touchdown, a 14-yard run with 2:10 remaining. That capped a 19-point third quarter blitz by Alabama.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. Saban pulled his seniors on offense with seven minutes remaining, to thunderous applause. The Crimson Tide reserves were able to take on one more touchdown on a 34-yard pass from backup quarterback Greg McElroy to freshman Marquis Maze with 2:49 remaining.
The 36-0 final was Alabama’s most lopsided win in the series since 1962 and its first shutout of Auburn since 1992. It marked the first time the Tigers had been shutout by any opponent since Southern California blanked AU in the 2003 season opener.
“My emotions are through the roof,” said Alabama safety Rashad Johnson. “I cannot really explain how it feels. We did it in a first-class manner with a shutout and were able to dominate the game.”
No. 1 Alabama now moves on to the most anticipated Southeastern Conference Championship game ever, against No. 2 Florida in the Georgia Dome. Auburn finishes its season at 5-7, its first losing season since 1999.