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Notes From Alabama’s Loss At Auburn


Dec. 01, 2019

Looking for Alabama football defensive information from Saturday’s loss at Auburn? You’ll have to look somewhere else. This season’s Crimson Tide defense has given up the most points in a game by any Bama team coached by Nick Saban. Twice. Alabama’s record fell to 10-2 this year and the losses were in giving up 46 to LSU 46-41) and 48 to Auburn (48-45).
Alabama had over 500 yards of offense and scored 45 points. A reasonable conjecture is that would win approximately 99 percent of all games played in Alabama history. But Bama gave up 48 points to the Tigers, and that’s a recipe for loss at about the same rate.
Auburn’s victory ended any hopes for a sixth straight trip for the Crimson Tide to the College Football Playoff.
Here are notes from Saturday’s game:
The 93 points scored in the game are the most Alabama and Auburn have combined for in the series in games played at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The previous high was 62 in 2013. One more touchdown and extra point kick and the game would have exceeded the record for total points by both teams, the 99 in the Tide’s 55-44 in 2014 in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama recorded 515 yards of total offense, 180 rushing and 335 passing. The 500-plus yard performance marked the 33rd time in the last 71 games, dating to the start of the 2015 season, that the Crimson Tide has eclipsed the 500-yard mark. Last season, UA totaled 500 or more yards in 12 of 15 games to set a single-season school record. The Tide has eclipsed 500 yards of offense in nine of the 12 games in the 2019 campaign.
Sophomore wide receiver Jaylen Waddle finished with a career-high four touchdowns in today's game at Auburn. Three of his scores came on offense with touchdown receptions of 58 yards, 12 yards and 28 yards, while his other came by way of a 98-yard kickoff return. Waddle's 98-yard return is also a career high, topping his previous best of 20 yards the previous weekend against Western Carolina. Waddle’s kickoff TD return was Bama’s first since Josh Jacobs ran back a short Louisville kickoff for 77 yards in the opening game of the 2018 season on Sept. 1 in Orlando.
Speaking of the kicking game, as good as Waddle’s kickoff return was, Joe Bulovas’s 30-yard missed field goal that would have tied the game with two minutes to play was bad – though hardly unexpected. Bama seems to have the patent on placekickers who miss, frequently hitting uprights, as did that one Saturday.
Auburn’s field goal kicker, Anders Carlson, had a career-long 54-yard field goal as time expired in the first half and went 4-4 on three-pointers. For the year, Bama opponents have been perfect on field goal kicks – 17-17.
Junior running back Najee Harris, with 146 rushing yards, eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He has 1,088. He has had five 100-yard games this season and six for his career (Arkansas State on Sept. 8, 2018 – 135 yards; Southern Miss on Sept. 21, 2019 – 110 yards; Texas A&M on Oct. 12, 2019 – 114 yards; Tennessee on Oct. 17, 2019 – 105 yards; LSU on Nov. 9, 2019 – 146; Auburn on Nov. 30, 2019 – 146 yards).
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Mac Jones set a new career high in passing yards and touchdowns, collecting 335 yards and 4 TDs on 26-39 passes.
Alabama scored first, often a harbinger of a good ending. But as is often the case in close losses, scoring last is more important and Bama missed that opportunity when the field goal to tie missed.
Alabama extended its school record for consecutive games with a score to 254.
Alabama’s 31 points in the first half against Auburn are the most the Tigers have given up for an entire game this season. Prior to Saturday, the most Auburn surrendered in 2019 was 24 points at Florida (Oct. 5).
The first half 27 points by Auburn was second most allowed by Alabama in the opening two quarters this year. LSU had 33 at the half.
Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis made the first start of his career at Auburn. Other first-time starters in 2019 include: redshirt sophomore tight end Major Tennison, senior defensive lineman Tevita Musika and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Christian Barmore (Western Carolina Nov. 23); redshirt sophomore tight end/offensive lineman Kendall Randolph (LSU, Nov. 9); sophomore quarterback Mac Jones and freshman placekicker/punter Ty Perine (Arkansas, Oct. 26); freshman defensive lineman Byron Young (Tennessee, Oct. 19); freshman defensive lineman Justin Eboigbe (Southern Miss, Sept. 21); junior running back Najee Harris and freshman defensive back Jordan Battle (New Mexico State, Sept. 7); running back Jerome Ford, offensive linemen Landon Dickerson, Evan Neal and Chris Owens, defensive lineman DJ Dale, linebackers Christian Harris and Shane Lee, defensive backs Josh Jobe and Jared Mayden and placekicker/punter Will Reichard (Duke, Aug. 31).
Tide captains were Xavier McKinney, Anfernee Jennings, and Landon Dickerson.
Attendance was capacity: 87,451.
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