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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Alabama 27, Auburn 24

College Football(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

By JOHN ZENOR
Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. - Jalen Milroe and Isaiah Bond rescued No. 8 Alabama's playoff hopes, connecting for a last-minute touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 31 to beat Auburn 27-24.

Bond caught Milroe's desperation heave in the left corner of the end zone with 32 seconds left to give the Crimson Tide (11-1, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) a 10th straight win in the latest dramatic Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Trailing by four with 1:43 left, Alabama had first-and-goal at the Auburn 7 before moving backward. The Crimson Tide lost 18 yards on a bad snap and were pushed back 5 more yards with an illegal downfield pass on third down after Milroe crossed the line of scrimmage.

Two years ago, Alabama needed four overtimes to beat the Tigers on the Plains, where the Kick Six went down in college football history a decade ago.

Alabama nearly returned an interception for another touchdown on the final play. But this game will be remembered around the state for fourth-and-31, a play where Auburn didn't try to put any pressure on Milroe before he spotted Bond.

Ja’Varrius Johnson scored on a 27-yard touchdown catch and a 12-yard run to put the Tigers (6-6, 3-5) in position to win.

Milroe passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 107 more yards. Jermaine Burton had 107 yards receiving, including a 68-yard touchdown. Bond had five catches for 75 yards.

Payton Thorne passed for 91 yards and a touchdown and ran for 58 yards for Auburn. Jarquez Hunter ran for 93 yards and Damari Alston gained 85.

Favored by 12 1/2 points in this one, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, Alabama gets to face No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game with the playoff hopes intact, if still precarious.

A muffed punt gave Alabama the ball on the Auburn 30 with 4:48 left. But cornerback Nehemiah Pritchett upended a scrambling Milroe a yard shy of the first down on third-and-20. Roydell Williams took a pitch and converted the fourth down, setting up the go-ahead score.

Midway through the third quarter, Thorne hit a wide-open Johnson for a touchdown that put Auburn ahead 21-20. Alex McPherson's 21-yard field goal made it 24-20 with 10 minutes left.

THE TAKEAWAY

Alabama: The Crimson Tide were pushed to the brink after picking up steam as the season headed toward the Iron Bowl. They outgained Auburn 451 yards to 337.

Auburn: Rebounded strongly from a 31-10 loss to New Mexico State, propelled by a running game that never got going in that game but produced 244 yards in this one.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Alabama athletics press release

November 25, 2023


Scoring Summary
First Quarter AlaAuburn
Ala TD 10:53 Roydell Williams 2 yd run (Will Reichard kick) 7 0
Auburn TD 5:00 Damari Alston 4 yd run (Alex McPherson kick) 7 7
Second Quarter AlaAuburn
Ala FG 14:09 Will Reichard 32 yd FG 10 7
Auburn TD 2:24 Ja'Varrius Johnson 12 yd run (Alex McPherson kick) 10 14
Ala TD 1:33 Jermaine Burton 68 yd pass from Jalen Milroe (Will Reichard kick) 17 14
Third Quarter AlaAuburn
Ala FG 9:12 Will Reichard 22 yd FG 20 14
Auburn TD 6:36 Ja'Varrius Johnson 27 yd pass from Payton Thorne (Alex McPherson kick) 20 21
Fourth Quarter AlaAuburn
Auburn FG 10:15 Alex McPherson 21 yd FG 20 24
Ala TD 0:32 Isaiah Bond 31 yd pass from Jalen Milroe (Will Reichard kick) 27 24
Team Stats
  Alabama Auburn
First downs 21 18
  Rushing 11 12
  Passing 10 4
  Penalty 0 2
3rd Down Efficiency 6-16, 38% 4-12, 33%
4th down efficiency 2-2, 100% 0-0, -%
Rushes-Yards 44-192 42-244
Passing Yards 259 93
Return Yards 36 72
Completions-Attempts-Int 16-24-0 6-17-2
Sacks-Yards Lost 1--9 4--28
Punts 5 5
Punts-Average 42.2 47.8
Fumbles Lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties - Yards 8-72 5-28
Time of Possession 32:43 27:17
Alabama Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
J. Milroe 16 24 259 2 0
Auburn Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
P. Thorne 5 16 91 1 2
J. Hunter 1 1 2 0 0
Alabama Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
J. Milroe 18 107 5.9 0
J. McClellan 15 66 4.4 0
R. Williams 8 30 3.8 1
J. Miller 2 7 3.5 0
Auburn Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
J. Hunter 14 93 6.6 0
D. Alston 10 85 8.5 1
P. Thorne 15 57 3.8 0
J. Johnson 1 12 12.0 1
R. Ashford 2 -3 -1.5 0
Alabama Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Burton 4 107 26.8 1
I. Bond 5 75 15.0 1
M. Benson 1 33 33.0 0
A. Niblack 2 24 12.0 0
K. Law 3 12 4.0 0
J. McClellan 1 8 8.0 0
Auburn Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Johnson 4 76 19.0 1
C. Burton III 1 15 15.0 0
R. Ashford 1 2 2.0 0
Alabama Interceptions
Player Int Yards
T. Arnold 2 22
Auburn Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Alabama Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Burnip 5 211 42.2
Auburn Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
O. Chapman 5 239 47.8
Alabama Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
C. Downs 2 -3 -1.5
Auburn Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
K. Scott 2 5 2.5
Alabama Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
K. Law 1 17 17.0
Auburn Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
B. Battie 4 67 16.8
Alabama Missed FG
Player Length
W. Reichard 42
Auburn Missed FG
Player Length




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