AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Pushed to the limits, Alabama delivered plays to celebrate in a stadium that has produced a few devastating ones.
The result was another unforgettable Iron Bowl.
John Metchie caught a scoring pass from Bryce Young in the fourth overtime to give No. 3 Alabama a 24-22 comeback victory over rival Auburn on Saturday, rescuing the Crimson Tide’s national title hopes.
It was the first overtime in the Iron Bowl.
“Wow, what a game,” Tide coach Nick Saban said.
Freshman Kool-Aid McKinstry tipped away T.J. Finley’s pass in the final OT and Young hit Metchie just as he did in the previous one.
Alabama hardly looked ready to face the Bulldogs and the nation’s top defense most of the way. The Tide had 11 penalties for 129 yards and gave up seven sacks a few days after Saban called out the fans for being critical because his team wasn’t blowing out opponents.
Auburn’s defense played terrific and held on for dear life for a team that had blown two straight double-digit leads. The home-field advantage continues to be huge in this intense rivalry even if the Tigers fell short in the end.
Alabama had a chance to move up a spot after No. 2 Ohio State fell 42-27 to fifth-ranked Michigan.The game-long struggle with an unranked team makes that far less certain.
Alabama: Faces No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship game.
Auburn: Awaits bowl destination.