By Flint Wheeler

The 2013 Iron Bowl was hyped to be an epic battle between college football’s greatest rivalry. Many will say the game lived up to the hype as Auburn made a win in the final second of the game.

Alabama looked like they were going to come out strong on the opening drive. The first play of the game saw T.J. Yeldon rush through the Auburn defense for 31 yards. The following play added another 11 yards with an A.J. McCarron pass to Kevin Norwood. At this point, the Auburn defense stepped up and was able to force Alabama into a 4th and 3 at the Auburn 27. A 44-yard field goal attempt was made by Cade Foster, but it swung too far left.

Auburn’s first shot at offense looked like it was going to move the ball. The Tigers started with a 14-yard rush by Corey Grant. Two plays later, Nick Marshall threw a long pass to wide-open Ricardo Louis, but the receiver was not able to hold on to the ball. Auburn was forced to punt away on 4th and 4 at their own 48.


The Tigers were the first team to make it to the end zone. While facing 3rd and 18 on the 4th play of their second possession, QB Nick Marshall connected with Sammie Coates for 21 yards and the first down. Nick Marshall broke past the Tide defense for 45 yards and the Auburn touchdown. Parkey’s extra point was good.

Alabama made their first score in the second quarter of the game. The steady, 11-play drive covered 67 yards. O.J. Howard helped gain much of the yardage with a pair of back-to-back pass receptions for 12 and 11 yards. Jalson Fowler got the honor of the score with a 3-yard pass reception. Foster’s kick was good.

A fumble by the Tigers gave Alabama another opportunity to score and the Tide quickly capitalized on it. Tre Mason was forced to fumble by Landon Collins. Collins was able to recover the ball at the Auburn 38. T.J. Yeldon helped move the ball 18 yards over the next 3 plays for the Alabama offense. Kevin Norwood took care of the last 20 yards with a pass reception. Cade Foster’s kick brought the score to 14-7.

Auburn’s following possession didn’t have much gusto and they were forced to punt after 3 plays. Alabama took 5 plays and got to the end zone, starting at their own 40 yard line. Yeldon started off the offense with a 13-yard rush, Norwood gained 14 yards on the third play of the drive and Amari Cooper added 28 yards while rushing. Yeldon capped off the drive with a 1-yard rush, leaving 3:48 in the half.

The Tiger offense found their stride and quickly made their second score of the night. Tre Mason hammered away through the Tide defense for five plays and pushed the team down the field. The second play saw Mason grab 40 yards while causing multiple missed tackles by Alabama. The sixth play in the drive was a rush by Nick Marshall that gained 15 yards and was initially ruled a touchdown. A review brought the ball to the 1 yard line. Mason gained the last yard on the following play. Parkey’s extra point brought the score to 21-14.

Coming back from halftime, Auburn was ready to play. The opening drive of the second half saw the Tigers cover 69 yards in 9 plays. Besides a 2-yard rush by Nick Marshall, the smallest gain by the offense during the drive was 6-yards. C.J. Uzomah gained the score by receiving a Marshall pass for 13 yards into the end zone. Cody Parkey’s kick tied the game up at 21.

Alabama looked like they were going to turn nothing into something halfway through the 3rd quarter. An Auburn punt gave the Tide the worst possible field position at the 1 yard line. Yeldon was able to gain two yards on the first play, but lost it on the following play. Facing 3rd and 9, McCarron connected with Amari Cooper for 54 yards. The team was able to get down to the Auburn 11 and were planning to kick on a 4th and 10. A false start penalty on the kick pushed the ball back to the 16 yard line. Cade Foster’s kick went too far left and was no good.

The Tide made up for the missed field goal on their next possession. Another Auburn punt put the Alabama offense right back at the one yard line where they had just escaped. In one play, A.J. McCarron threw way down field to connect with Amari Cooper for a 99-yard touchdown. Cade Foster’s extra point was good.

Alabama made it into the red zone twice in the 4th quarter, but failed to score both times. At the end of one drive, a missed assignment led Alabama to down on 4th and 1 at the Auburn 13. The second drive made it to the Auburn 27, but the field goal attempt by Cade Foster was blocked.

Auburn used the momentum to tie the game again with only 32 seconds remaining in the game. A 7-play drive carried the Tigers 65 yards for the score. Tre Mason pushed for about five yards on most of the plays, but Sammie Coates made the big score after taking a Marshall pass 39 yards for the score. Parkey’s kick was good and tied the game up.

Alabama took the ball to the Auburn 38 and called for a 57 yard field goal. The kick fell short and was returned by Tiger Chris Davis for 100 yards and the last second win.

Next week, Auburn moves on to the SEC Championship in Atlanta.