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Iron Bowl: Winners and losers from Alabama Crimson Tide rolling over Auburn Tigers

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Iron Bowl brings one of college football’s biggest rivalry matchups each year, pitting the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Auburn Tigers.

There have been eras in which we’ve seen both schools enjoy a run of dominance over their opponent, but as of late, it’s been Roll Tide, all the way. Coming into the matchup with a two-game winning streak, and leading the all-time series 48-37-1, once again, it was Alabama who controlled this rivalry dating back to 1893.

Yet, that came as no surprise, with Nick Saban’s crew ranked seventh coming into the day, and Carnell “Cadillac” Williams’ Tigers unranked in the midst of a 5-6 season.

While the Crimson Tide got the victory, there were minor wins and losses throughout the battle. Here are a few that caught our eye.

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Winner: Carnell Williams gets Auburn Tigers to fight

NCAA Football: Auburn at Alabama
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Of course they’re actual losers, but if we’re being fair to coach Carnell Williams here, who’s coaching in just this fourth career game, this has to be a minor victory. Alabama may not be the best team in the nation, but they’re pretty close. They also have a lot more talent throughout the program than Auburn currently has.

While this may be a rivalry that can sometimes lead to wacky outcomes, Alabama entered the matchup favored by 22.5 points. It was always expected to be a blowout.

Yet, Auburn came out and scored right away, showing they weren’t afraid of the raucous atmosphere at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The second quarter got away from them, getting outscored 27-7, but once again, Cadillac and his crew made adjustments, tying the third quarter by scoring and allowing seven points.

Ultimately, Alabama’s passing offense, in combination with Auburn’s inability to move the ball through the air in what ended up being a rainy afternoon that proved to be the difference.

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Loser: Auburn’s passing offense

NCAA Football: Auburn at Alabama
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a bit impressive that Auburn even managed to score 27 points when considering how pitiful their passing offense was. Oddly enough, quarterback Robby Ashford flashed some big-play ability, connecting with Ja’Varrius Johnson for a beautiful 20-yard strike in the second quarter.

But that was it. Literally. The Tigers wouldn’t complete a pass longer than 17 yards for the rest of the game, and Ashford finished 11-of-23 for 77 yards and the touchdown.

We can’t excuse the playing elements, because if we look at Bryce Young’s effort, which we dive into further below, the Heisman winner didn’t need any help.

Ashford is just a freshman, so we don’t want to be too harsh. He did make a few strong connections, but really, it was his legs that even gave Auburn a chance. Hopefully the Tigers can get their young QB some help going forward

Related: Weekly updated CFB QB rankings

Winner: Robby Ashford gives his best effort

NCAA Football: Auburn at Alabama
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

While Ashford’s 11th career game left us wanting to see more development as a passer, what the Auburn QB did with his feet was quite spectacular. Taking on a run defense that ranked 20th in the nation, allowing just 112.7 yards on the ground coming into the day, Ashford set new career bests.

The dual-threat QB dashed for 121 yards on 17 attempts, scoring two touchdowns. It wasn’t just Ashford that burned the Crimson Tide, as tailback Jarquez Hunter also had a big day, with 134 rushing yards, but the dangerous duo kept the Tigers in reach for much of the game.

It may not quite remind us of Cam Newton, but Auburn fans will take what they have with Ashford and run for now.

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Loser: Alabama Crimson Tide’s lack of discipline

NCAA Football: Auburn at Alabama
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

If we’re getting picky, we can point to how Alabama’s constant discipline issues have continued to hold this good team back from being truly great. Coach Saban may be one of the best coaches in the nation, but somehow he doesn’t have a firm grip on this football team, as they’re averaging the third-most penalties per game coming into the day, averaging 8.3 per game.

Already averaging a high amount of penalties, Alabama outdid themselves against Auburn, with emotions already running high heading into the rivalry matchup. Alabama ended up committing 11 penalties for 102 yards. Compare that to Auburn, who had a right to be far more frustrated with the outcome of the game, committed 10 penalties for 49 yards.

Coach Saban will have to hope next year’s team can drastically improve their discipline, while hoping their penalties don’t cost them in their upcoming bowl matchup.

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Winner: Bryce Young caps off season with an Iron Bowl win, wave

NCAA Football: Auburn at Alabama
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from a late interception with the game largely out of hand, Bryce Young was magnificent in Alabama’s regular season finale. Young’s chemistry with Ja’Corey Brooks and Jermaine Burton was on full display, giving the former a chance to go up and snag a 50-50 ball to help set the tone.


As for Young, he continued to dazzle, not only with his accurate arm, but also by using his mobility, keeping the defense off balance all afternoon.


Young was feeling confident, showing he wasn’t afraid to let it fly, trusting his receivers in another strong performance we’ve come to expect from the 2021 Heisman winner. He would finish the day completing 20-of-30 passes for 343 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. Most importantly, Young led Alabama to another convincing win, as they jockey for the best bowl game possible.

In what may be his final move at Alabama, Young gave a wave to the thousands of fans in attendance, taking in what could be the excellent quarterback’s final regular season performance, if not his last game with the Crimson Tide. Next up, NFL Draft?

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