(2) Alabama - 49, Auburn - 0
November 24, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Second-ranked Alabama (11-1 overall; 7-1 in the Southeastern
Conference) scored touchdowns on its first seven offensive possessions to quickly
put away struggling arch-rival Auburn (3-9; 0-8 in the SEC), 49-0, in the latest
renewal of the Iron Bowl before a capacity crowd of 101,821 on a crisp, sunny
Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The victory gave Alabama the SEC
Western Division title and a berth in the SEC Championship Game next Saturday in
Atlanta against Georgia.
AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide passes for a touchdown to Kevin
Norwood #83 against the Auburn Tigers.
Photo Credit - Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron passed for 216 yards and four touchdowns,
completing 15 of 21 passes without an interception, running back Eddie Lacy
rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries and receiver Amari Cooper
caught five passes for 109 yards and two scores to highlight the Crimson Tide
output. Meanwhile, Alabama's defense garnered its fourth shutout of the 2012
season, the most in a single season by a Crimson Tide team since 1979.
Senior safety Robert Lester led the Alabama defense with five tackles and an
interception and the Alabama defense created seven tackles for losses, forced
three fumbles (recovering one), intercepted two passes and had two quarterback
sacks. Alabama held Auburn to 163 total yards, 92 rushing and 71 passing, and
only seven first downs on the day.
Alabama's offense racked up 483 total yards in the game, 267 rushing and 216
passing, while gaining 25 first downs and averaging 5.7 yards per play. The
Tide was 11-for-14 on third down and held possession for 33:11 of game time.
Alabama took the lead in the early stages by scoring on its opening possession,
marching 75 yards in 10 plays on a drive that was aided by two Auburn penalties.
Lacy rushed for 21 yards on five carries on the drive, capping the possession
with a two-yard run around left end for the touchdown. The big gainer on the
march was a 20-yard pass from McCarron to Cooper from the Alabama 44 to the
Auburn 36. That play was augmented by a 15-yard personal foul incurred when
Tigers safety T'Sharvan Bell was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cooper
at the end of the play. Three plays later, Alabama converted a third-and-five
situation via a pass interference penalty on Auburn during an incompletion
intended for receiver Kevin Norwood in the end zone. Lacy scored on the next
play. Placekicker Jeremy Shelley's point-after kick gave Alabama a 7-0 lead
with 11:07 left in the first quarter.
The Tide defense forced Auburn to punt after three plays on the Tigers' first
possession. The Tide's ensuing drive began at the Alabama 39 and was sparked
by a 10-yard pass to receiver Christion Jones on third-and-four to the Auburn
45. After an Auburn offside penalty negated an incompletion, McCarron passed
to Cooper on an out pattern at the left sideline for a 16-yard gain as Cooper
was knocked out of bounds at the Auburn 24. Facing third-and-seven at the Auburn
21, McCarron passed to receiver Kenny Bell on a crossing pattern. Bell took the
pass at the Auburn 20 and ran to the Auburn six-yard line before being forced
out of bounds by T'Sharvan Bell. On first down, running back T.J. Yeldon was
stopped for no gain, then McCarron rushed from the pocked for four yards to the
Tiger two-yard line before Yeldon carried off right tackle for two yards and a
touchdown with 5:01 remaining in the first quarter. The 61-yard, 10-play drive
gave Alabama a 14-0 lead with Shelley's conversion kick.
After a short Auburn drive into Alabama territory was stopped at the Tide 41,
Alabama resumed possession at its own 11-yard line as the first quarter came to
a close. From there, Alabama marched to its third touchdown in as many possessions
to take a 21-0 lead with 12:38 remaining in the second quarter.
A seven-yard pass from McCarron to Norwood converted a third-and-six to the
Alabama 23, and then McCarron passed to Christion Jones, who eluded two tackles
for an eight-yard gain to the Tide 31. Lacy then took a handoff from a falling
McCarron, raced through a hole at left tackle and split two downfield tacklers
on a 32-yard run to the Auburn 37. On the next play, McCarron faked a handoff
and passed deep on a post pattern to Cooper, who caught the pass deep in the
end zone behind the Auburn defense for a touchdown to cap a six-play, 88-yard
drive that put the Tide up by three touchdowns.
Auburn's next possession ended in an interception. After the Tigers moved from
their 15 to the Tiger 38, quarterback Jonathan Wallace threw to tight end C.J.
Uzomah who was open in a seam of the Tide defense. But Wallace's pass was
slightly high and Uzomah reached but could only tip the ball into the air.
Alabama safety Robert Lester hauled in the pass at the Alabama 40-yard line
and returned it 31 yards to the Tiger 29 with 9:58 left in the second quarter.
The interception was Lester's 14th career theft, moving him into a tie for
fifth on the Crimson Tide career interceptions list.
Starting at the Tiger 29, Alabama's offense moved goalward quickly. After an
incompletion, Yeldon took a draw play off right guard and muscled through
defenders for 19 yards to the Tiger 10. After an incompletion, Yeldon gained
three more on another draw to the Auburn seven to set up third and goal. After
an Auburn timeout, McCarron lined up in the shotgun formation and calmly
connected with Norwood in the middle of the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown
pass. Shelley's kick gave Alabama a 28-0 lead with 8:39 left in the second
After forcing another Auburn punt on the Tigers' next possession, Alabama
marched 64 yards in seven plays to its fourth touchdown in as many possessions
to take a 35-0 lead with 4:43 left in the first half. Lacy was the stalwart on
the march, carrying on six of the seven plays for 54 of the 64 yards on the
march, including runs of 23, 15, six, seven and two yards before ending the
drive with a one-yard dive off left tackle for the score. Lacy moved past the
century mark for rushing yards on the drive, reaching 111 yards on 14 carries
and two touchdowns following his second marker of the day.
Auburn's half of misery was prolonged on its next possession. After moving from
their own 26 to the Tiger 42, running back Tre Mason fumbled after a five-yard
rush with Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner scooping up the ball and returning it
17 yards to the Tiger 35-yard line. After a Yeldon rush gained seven and a false
start moved the ball back to the Auburn 33, McCarron passed for four yards to
Christion Jones then hit Cooper on a short slant pattern. Cooper bounced off a
pair of Auburn tacklers and popped free, racing 29 yards for Alabama's sixth
touchdown of the half and a 42-0 lead with 31 seconds left in the second period.
That lead marks the largest halftime lead by either team in the history of the
Iron Bowl series, surpassing a 34-0 lead by Auburn in 1957, a game that ended
with a 40-0 verdict for the Tigers over the Tide.
The Tide increased the lead on its opening possession with another touchdown,
this one a 38-yard pass from McCarron to Norwood that gave Alabama a 49-0 lead
with 9:03 left in the third quarter. The march went 61 yards in seven plays
following an Auburn punt. Lacy moved past 1,000 rushing yards for the season on
the drive. That drive ended the day's work for the Alabama starters.