Tag Archives: Iron Bowl

Cade Foster threatened, supported for Iron Bowl

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) taps Alabama place kicker Cade Foster (43) on the helmet after he missed a field goal during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) taps Alabama place kicker Cade Foster (43) on the helmet after he missed a field goal during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

In the latest example of social media gone wrong, Alabama kicker Cade Foster faced death threats and insults in the wake of the Iron Bowl loss.

Foster was targeted by angry fans for missing two field goals and having one blocked Saturday against Auburn that was part of a 34-28 loss.

The defeat gave the Crimson Tide its first loss of the season and knocked the team out of SEC and national title contention for the moment.

Fans suggested on his Twitter page he drink bleach and not come back to school. An extreme one threatened to kill him and his family.

Foster removed his name, picture and comments from his Twitter page while the hysteria calms down.

He was one of the most consistent kickers in the nation until the Iron Bowl. Foster connected on 11 of 12 with a long of 53 before his off night.

Many teammates defended him on Twitter. Running back Altee Tenpenny is an example. ”Everybody needa get off Cade case!” he wrote. “My dude still the best! As a team we lost we all played a part in this game! Not one person.”

And from cornerback John Fulton: “But to you fake fans that are threatenin my teammate know the squad ride and die together and yall don’t want 105 problems.”

Quarterback AJ McCarron Tweeted: “we win & lose as a team. If u blame this on 1 guy U aren’t a true fan!”

Linebacker C.J. Mosley wrote “fake” and “spoiled” fans to “stop sending threats to my teammates.”

The reaction from players Saturday moments after the stunning defeat when Chris Davis returned a missed field goal by Adam Griffith in the final second of the game was similar.

“We lost as a team,” receiver Kevin Norwood said. “We didn’t go out and do our best. We have to move on. Life goes on.”

Alabama can look back at the poor blocking at times that didn’t allow the offense to perform better and a dropped pass by Amari Cooper in the end zone.

There was blown coverage by Cyrus Jones to allow Auburn’s final offensive touchdown that tied the game, Brian Vogler missed a tackle on Davis on the final play and Griffith missed the kick that was returned.

“I felt we lost as a team,” defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan said. “I wish we would have done better.”

Many fans, however, were supportive of Foster, and even started up a Facebook page to voice their understanding. There were more than 40,000 in support Sunday night.

Iron Bowl fallout

Auburn fans storm the field following a win over Alabama in an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. Auburn beat Alabama 34-28. (AP Photo/Jay Sailors)

Auburn fans storm the field following a win over Alabama in an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. Auburn beat Alabama 34-28. (AP Photo/Jay Sailors)

The Alabama football team will take a tumble in the rankings and BCS standings today. We’ll see how the season shakes out soon. I’ll have a look at that and what it means in Monday’s edition of the TimesDaily and Decatur Daily.

Here’s my game story in the Sunday editions with reaction from coach Nick Saban and the players to the wackiest play ever. Really, how the game was lost never happens. AJ McCarron’s description in the story is so very accurate.

Here’s the AP game story. Here’s a look at how McCarron did.

Here’s the notebook, leading with the defense faltering, the grades and stats. Here’s a column that looks at how the game was lost.

Auburn linebacker Jake Holland (5) pushes Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) out-of-bounds during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Auburn linebacker Jake Holland (5) pushes Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) out-of-bounds during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Iron Bowl postgame

AUBURN — Auburn’s Chris Davis returned a missed field goal attempt 100 yards for a touchdown on the game’s final play to give fourth-ranked Auburn (11-1 overall; 7-1 in the Southeastern Conference) a 34-28 win over top-ranked Alabama (11-1 overall; 7-1 SEC) on Saturday afternoon before a crowd of  87,451 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Check out Alabama coach Nick Saban’s full press conference above and and defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan’s interview below.

Iron Bowl halftime report, plus the third quarter and more

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, left, talks with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn prior to the start of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, left, talks with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn prior to the start of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

AUBURN — The top-ranked Alabama football team went into halftime with a 21-14 lead over No. 4 Auburn.

It was sloppy and sluggish early. Auburn struck first but Alabama dominated the second quarter as usual. Here’s how the first half came about.

First quarter

Alabama won the toss and took the ball. A 31-yard run by T.J. Yeldon opened up the offense, but Auburn held on to force a 44-yard field goal attempt by Cade Foster, and he missed wide left. That was his first miss in 12 tries, and second miss all season.

Auburn had its opportunity on its first drive with a wide open receiver, but Nick Marshall missed him. The Tigers punted into the end zone.

Alabama’s offense goes 3-and-out and Cody Mandell dropped the snap on the punt, but he got it off. Early portion of the game was awful for the special teams.

The Tigers started off badly on their second drive and burned two timeouts, but it ended the 66-yard possession with a 45-yard rushing TD up the middle by Marshall for the first score with 5:05 left in the quarter.

Alabama responds to the first seven-point deficit since the Sept. 14 Texas A&AM game with a 3-and-out. Mandell got his punt off without incident this time.

The defense comes up big for the Tide to stop Auburn thanks to a big sack. Tigers punted in the final minute of the quarter.

However, that’s only the second time Alabama held scoreless in the first quarter. The other time was against Kentucky. The last time Alabama trailed going into the second quarter was 14-7 to Texas A&M. The Tide

Second quarter

Running back Kenyan Drake gave the offensive spark, but the passing game is off so far. Dropped passes and a sack. Two timeouts and a fourth-down conversion leads to the game-tying drive.

Quarterback AJ McCarron hit Jalston Fowler on a 3-yard pass to flat for a touchdown to cap a 67-yard, 11-play drive. The play works ever time. The game is tied 7-7 with 11:00 left in the half.

Landon Collins forced and recovered a fumble by Tre Mason to give Alabama the ball on Auburn’s 36-yard line. The Tigers burned their last timeout of the half and the only challenge of the game.

The Crimson Tide takes the lead, 14-7, with 7:12 left in the first half with a 20-yard touchdown pass by McCarron to Kevin Norwood.

Auburn couldn’t answer as the Alabama defense turned up the intensity to force a punt. The stadium has been quiet since the fumble.

The Tide offense started the route with an end around for Amari Cooper to 29 yards to set up a 1-yard TD run for Yeldon with 3:48 left in the half. Alabama up 21-7.

Auburn wouldn’t go away with a quick 81-yard drive for a touchdown with a lot of Mason running. He scored on a 1-yard TD. The Tigers still trail 21-14 with 1:40 on the half.

The big setback for the Crimson Tide was DL Jeoffrey Pagan was injured and helped off the field. Alabama finished the half with the ball.

Third quarter

Auburn game out on fire on its first possession out of halftime and marched up the field. Nick Marshall hit a 13-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Uzomah to tie the game at 21 with 11:56 left in the third quarter.

Alabama couldn’t answer and went 3-and-out with a punt. The defense, however, forced an Auburn punt that was downed on the 1-yard line.

McCarron led the Tide out of the goal line with a 54-yard pass to Cooper. Alabama reaches the red zone and the quarter runs out.

Fourth quarter

Alabama was held to a field goal attempt, but missed with 14:04 left in the game. Foster made the first attempt, but a false start penalty forced another attempt.

The Tide forced another punt, and again it’s downed on the 1-yard line. There’s 10:42 left in the game.

McCarron struck back with a 99-yard touchdown pass to Cooper. Alabama goes up 28-21 with 10:28 left in the game. Wow. 

Alabama then holds on down to give the ball back to the offense on Auburn’s 35-yard line with 8:28 left in the game.

It’s time for me to concentrate on making the print deadlines. Follow me at Twitter.com/cokirkpatrick for more updates.

Iron Bowl game day

It's Iron Bowl game day.

It’s Iron Bowl game day.

It’s finally Iron Bowl day. I’m looking forward to this game to be able to check out this rivalry first-hand for the first time.

I’m driving in early with a co-worker. Hopefully, we’ll beat the crowd.

“You can throw everything out the window when you play in games like this,” coach Nick Saban said. “It really doesn’t matter what anybody says, what anybody thinks, who’s favored. It really doesn’t matter. It’s all about who can execute the best and do their job the best for 60 minutes in the game when the game comes. It’s adjusting, doing your job, being physical, playing on the line of scrimmage, tackling well. Those are the things that are important. Those are the things that we prepare our players to do. And everyone’s got to prepare to do a good job playing in a very difficult environment.”

Here’s my main story in Saturday’s TimesDaily and Decatur Daily, looking at senior receiver Kenny Bell. Here’s my game preview and notes.

Here’s the basic game preview. And here’s a link to all the links to the SEC and other Iron Bowl stories.

My prediction for the game is Alabama 28, Auburn 24.

“This is the kind of game that I think everybody gets excited about, because it’s a rivalry game, because they have a good team and because there’s quite a bit at stake for both teams,” Saban said. “I think the players are excited about having the opportunity that they’ve created for themselves, trying to do the best we can so that hopefully they have a chance to take advantage of it.”

Remember to follow me at Twitter.com/cokirkpatrick or friend me on Facebook.

The Iron Bowl is kind of a big game this year.

The Iron Bowl is kind of a big game this year.

Football recruiting review

This is a high stakes Iron Bowl this year.

This is a high stakes Iron Bowl this year.

I wanted to look at the impact the Iron Bowl would have on recruiting this year, so I checked out the Alabama Rivals site to see who the in-state players Alabama and Auburn are battling over.

There are two left. Alabama has 22 verbal commitments for the 2014 recruiting class and there are three known offers still out with two from the state of Alabama.

The two from Alabama are four-star OT Bradley Bozeman from Roanoke and two-star athlete Deon Johnson from Spanish Fork. Both list Alabama of high interest and Auburn low.

Auburn has 18 commitment, including DB Stephen Roberts from Opelika who flipped from the Crimson Tide last week. Maybe the Tigers could get others to flip with a win Saturday.

Alabama still owns the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the nation and Auburn is No. 12. So it appears that Alabama is solid with its class no matter what.

Auburn could certainly get a boost this year, but more so for next season with a win with only one 2015 commitment from Georgia compared to Alabama’s five with RB Desherrius Flowers of Prichard already committed.

Iron Bowl practice went well

Alabama football coach Nick Saban harps on preparation each week if it’s a big game or not.

Saturday’s Iron Bowl happens to be a big one, so preparation must be precise.

By the end of the week he was happy with what he saw in practice.

“We’re really pleased with the focus our team has right now,” Saban said. “I think everybody realizes that the Iron Bowl is always a significant game and this year it has even a little more significance. I think the thing that we want to do with our players is make sure that they’re focusing on the right things, the things that they can control, the things that we can do to try to enhance playing good football.”

Offensive guard Anthony Steen noticed himself working harder in practice this week. At the of each day, he was more tired than usual.

“We’re doing the same thing but as players, but I notice out there we’re practicing a little harder, and we should,” Steen said. “We should treat it as a big game. It’s the biggest game we’ve had. I know I practiced a little harder. At the end of practice I realized I was pretty tired. Right now, we’re having a good week.”

Check out more from Steen in the above above if you missed it earlier in the week.

Check out my main story in Friday’s TimesDaily and Decatur Daily about quarterback AJ McCarron needing a big game Saturday to help win a Heisman Trophy.

Here’s the notebook, leading with center Ryan Kelly being injured.

Midweek update with Saban

Alabama NCAA college football coach Nick Saban gestures as he speaks during a press conference Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. No college football team is more accustomed to rampant hype than No. 1 Alabama. Sure, the Iron Bowl against No. 4 Auburn is huge, but Nick Saban's team has faced 20 top 10 opponents over the past six years and beaten 16 of them. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt)

Alabama NCAA college football coach Nick Saban gestures as he speaks during a press conference Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. No college football team is more accustomed to rampant hype than No. 1 Alabama. Sure, the Iron Bowl against No. 4 Auburn is huge, but Nick Saban’s team has faced 20 top 10 opponents over the past six years and beaten 16 of them. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt)

Alabama football coach Nick Saban met with the media Wednesday night for the last time before Saturday’s Iron Bowl.

“We’re really pleased with the focus our team has right now,” Saban said. “I think everybody realizes that the Iron Bowl is always a significant game and this year it has even a little more significance. I think the thing that we want to do with our players is make sure that they’re focusing on the right things, the things that they can control, the things that we can do to try to enhance playing good football. And that’s certainly what we’re trying to do.”

The big news is starting C Ryan Kelly sprained his knee Tuesday and will be limited for the rest of the week. It’s a game time decision if he plays Saturday.

Chad Lindsay will start in his place if he can’t go. Kellen Williams will be Lindsay’s backup.

Starting OG Anthony Steen is nursing a sore hand, but will be ready for Saturday.

Williams also took reps for OG Arie Kouandjio (ankle) just so he’s ready if Kouandjio can’t go full speed. Williams is also the backup to

Check out Saban’s final press conference before the Iron Bowl below. Take out poll on how you think the outcome of the Iron Bowl will come down. Click here.

More Iron Bowl talk

Check out the above video of Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley talking about the Iron Bowl on Saturday. The below video is of offensive guard Anthony Steen talking Iron Bowl and more.

Check out my main story in Wednesday’s Decatur Daily and TimesDaily on the challenge the cornerbacks face, and how they’ve developed this season.

Here’s my notebook, leading with how experience for the Crimson Tide should help the team against Auburn.

Read this story about a Decatur man been to every Iron Bowl since 1948.

Here’s a story on former players talk about their favorite Iron Bowls.

Read about the guy who painted his car with Tide and Tigers colors. In Oregon, where I’m from, these people are called a platypus, which is a combination of a beaver and a duck. What’s a combo of an elephant and tiger in Alabama?

Auburn scouting report

Auburn offensive tackle Avery Young (56)  linebacker JaViere Mitchell (16) quarterback Jeremy Johnson (6) and defensive lineman Gabe Wright (90) celebrate with the crowd following an NCAA college football game against Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. Auburn defeated Arkansas 35-17. (AP Photo/Beth Hall)

Auburn offensive tackle Avery Young (56) linebacker JaViere Mitchell (16) quarterback Jeremy Johnson (6) and defensive lineman Gabe Wright (90) celebrate with the crowd following an NCAA college football game against Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. Auburn defeated Arkansas 35-17. (AP Photo/Beth Hall)

KICKOFF: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jordan-Hare Stadium

TV: CBS

RECORDS: No. 1 Alabama 11-0, 7-0 SEC; No. 4 Auburn 10-1. 6-1

SERIES: Alabama leads 42-34-1

LAST MEETING: In 20012, Alabama won 49-0

LATEST LINE: Alabama by 11

COACH: Gus Malzahn, first season at Auburn (10-1) and second overall (19-4)

OFFENSE: Auburn is known for its potent running game. The Tigers lead the SEC and are second in the nation in the rushing (320.3 ypg), but the passing offense (179.6 ypg) ranks 11th in the conference. The total offense (499.9 ypg) is second in the SEC and scoring offense (39.0 ppg) is fourth. … RB Tre Mason is second in the SEC in rushing at 104.8 ypg. He also has 17 TDs. … QB Nick Marshall adds 82.3 ypg and nine TDs. … Marshall has completed 108 of 185 for 1,530 yards, nine TDs and five INTs. … Three receivers have 22 receptions or more with WR Sammie Coates in first with 30 for 687 yards and five TDs.

In this Sept. 7, 2013 file photo, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn talks with his players in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas State in Auburn, Ala. Malzahn is a gum-chewing football savant who has won every step of the way, from high school to the Southeastern Conference.  (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

In this Sept. 7, 2013 file photo, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn talks with his players in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas State in Auburn, Ala. Malzahn is a gum-chewing football savant who has won every step of the way, from high school to the Southeastern Conference. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

DEFENSE: The scoring defense (22.0 ppg) does enough and is ranked fifth in the SEC, but the pass defense (254.8 ypg) gives up yardage at 13th in the conference. The rush defense (152.1 ypg) is eighth and total defense (406.9 ypg) is 10th. … CB Chris Davis (55), LB Cassanova McKinzy (53) and DB Robenson Therezie (50) are the team’s leading tacklers. … DE Dee Ford is the big pass rusher with eight sacks, 14 QB hurries and two forced fumbles. … Therezie has four INTs and DB Ryan Smith has three.

SPECIAL TEAMS: PK Cody Parkey has hit 13 of 17 of his field goals with a long of 47. One has been blocked, and two missed from beyond 50 yards. … P Steven Clark averages 42.5 yards on 41 attempts. There have been 16 downed inside the 20 and 20 fair caught. … The team averages 24.1 yards on kickoff returns with two returned for TDs. … The team averages 11.8 on punt returns with one returned for a TD.

NOTABLE: Alabama has won the last two and four of the last five meetings. … The Tide has not allowed an offensive touchdown in the last two meetings. … Auburn specializes in big plays with 73 of 20 yards or more.

Auburn running back Tre Mason (21) gets past Arkansas linebacker Braylon Mitchell (34) to score a touchdown during an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. Auburn defeated Arkansas 35-17. (AP Photo/Beth Hall)

Auburn running back Tre Mason (21) gets past Arkansas linebacker Braylon Mitchell (34) to score a touchdown during an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. Auburn defeated Arkansas 35-17. (AP Photo/Beth Hall)

Talking about Iron Bowl

The hype machine was running full speed as the media met with the Alabama football players early in the week.

The TV cameras filled the room more than usual Monday to get their sound bytes for the Iron Bowl. Yes, it’s a big game, but it’s just another game.

Alabama respects Auburn. The Tigers are a great team. And they just have to play their game. OK, I’m was just being sarcastic since that was all that was said.

Check out the above video of the safety Landon Collins. The below video is of linebacker Trey DePriest.

Also, read my main story in Tuesday’s Times Daily and Decatur Daily about how the Crimson Tide hopes to avoid the hype.

Here’s the notebook, leading with the injury report.

Also, for those worried about coach Nick Saban leaving for Texas or anywhere else and don’t believe him, here’s a story about his wife saying the same thing.

Iron Bowl Monday update

The Iron Bowl is kind of a big game this year.

The Iron Bowl is kind of a big game this year.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban updated the media on his team Monday headed into the Iron Bowl.

“After looking at the last game, we did some really good things in the game,” Saban said. “I think we built some momentum in terms of this time of the year, that’s what you’d like to do by playing well, executing well. Obviously, always things we can improve on on both sides of the ball and on special teams. We’ll try to look at those things and get them corrected today.”

OG Arie Kouandjio (ankle) is the only player who will not practice Monday. The rest of the banged up guys will be back. Kouandjio is expected back to practice Tuesday.

Quarterback AJ McCarron was  selected as a finalist for the Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award. The Maxwell is given to the college player of the year and the O’Brien honors the year’s top quarterback. Other finalist for both awards are Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Florida State’s Jameis Winston.

Linebacker C.J. Mosley was named a finalist for the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation’s top linebacker each year, and Bednarik Award for the outstanding defensive player.

He’s in Butkus contention with UCLA’s Anthony Barr, Buffalo’s Khalil Mack, Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier and Stanford’s Shayne Skov. Other Bednarik finalists are Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald and Barr.
“C.J. keeps moving up in some of these awards, which is great for him,” Saban said. “I don’t think he’s had a bad game all year.”

There were no SEC Players of the Week, but here are the coaching staff’s players of the week:

Offense: Kevin Norwood, Anthony Steen, McCarron; Defense: Mosley, Jonathan Allen, Landon Collins; special teams: Reggie Ragland, Altee Tenpenny, Dee Hart, Geno Smith, Christion Jones.

Check out my Monday story in the TimesDaily and Decatur Daily, looking at the Crimson Tide’s view of the Iron Bowl.

Here’s the notebook, leading with recruiting news with other housecleaning items over the weekend.

Check out the above video of McCarron talking on Monday about the Iron Bowl and many other topics.

Still No. 1, Iron Bowl edition

This is a high stakes Iron Bowl this year.

This is a high stakes Iron Bowl this year.

The Alabama football team held firm as the No. 1 football team in the country after Saturday’s 49-0 victory over Chattanooga, headed into the Iron Bowl.

The Crimson Tide came in No. 1 in the Bowl Championship Series standings with Florida State No. 2 and Ohio State No. 3. It’s the Tide vs. Seminoles if they both keep winning.

Florida State has the easier slate with woeful Florida left and potentially Duke in the ACC title game.

Alabama has BCS No. 4 Auburn this Saturday and then Missouri or South Carolina in the SEC title game.

The Crimson Tide checked in at No. 1 in the Associated Press Poll, coaches poll and Harris Interactive Poll. Florida State was second in all of them and Ohio State third.

Auburn is ranked No. 4 in the AP and No. 5 in the coaches. The Tigers hope to upset the Tide and claim an BCS bowl game bid and move into the national title conversation.

The Tide, however, are favored by 11 points with the game in Auburn.

Nick Saban, football team accept Iron Bowl trophy

The ODK-Foy Sportsmanship Trophy, given to the winner of the Iron Bowl every year. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

The ODK-Foy Sportsmanship Trophy, given to the winner of the Iron Bowl every year. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

As the tradition goes, the victors of the 2012 Iron Bowl received the traveling ODK-Foy Sportsmanship Trophy during halftime of Alabama’s home basketball game against Auburn.

Below, we have video of the players taking the court for the presentation, Alabama head coach Nick Saban addressing the crowd, linebacker Nico Johnson after the presentation and a small surprise included.

Full Story: Alabama improves as it whips Auburn

Anthony Grant coaching the Crimson Tide to its revenge win over Auburn Tuesday night. (AP photo)

Anthony Grant coaching the Crimson Tide to its revenge win over Auburn Tuesday night. (AP photo)

Here is the full story from Tuesday night’s Iron Bowl of Basketball, as the Crimson Tide beat Auburn. At the bottom, you’ll see video of Alabama coach Anthony Grant’s press conference afterwards.

—–

TUSCALOOSA — Never has a basketball team felt better about itself on the offensive end of the floor after scoring 61 points and shooting 39.3 percent from the floor in a winning effort.

Drawing the regular-season series with rival Auburn to an even draw at one after losing on the road Feb. 6 was enough, but it was more satisfying to know that a groove is in place after the 61-43 win over Auburn.

“I thought the improvement we made over the last 20 days showed because we didn’t let (early offensive struggles) rattle us,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. “We had some success and built a lead.”

A large part of the offensive renaissance is junior point guard Trevor Releford, who followed his 36-point explosion Saturday against LSU with a 21-point game on 7-for-13 shooting against the Tigers.

“I think I’ve been preparing better recently,” Releford said. “I’ve been more focused and when I’m focused, I have a lot of confidence in my shot.”

Grant added, “I thought Trevor did a great job. He was locked-in. He was energetic, and I thought that was contagious to our team.”

Fellow point guard, redshirt freshman Retin Obasohan, created opportunities for himself via the dribble-drive to the tune of 10 points. Obasohan also had four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Trevor Lacey had a dozen points for the Tide.

“That’s something I’ve been working on,” Obasohan said of his dribble penetration abilities. “Coach always gets after me to use my athleticism. I guess today was one of those days I was able to make some plays for my teammates.”

When they were not scoring, the guards found 11 of Alabama’s 13 assists setting up big men for offensive opportunities, paving the way for sophomore forward Nick Jacobs to put up 10 points on 5-7 shooting.

“I thought Nick Jacobs came in in the first half and gave us a big boost,” Grant said. “Alabama attributed the upgrade in offensive output to halftime adjustments. Alabama’s shooting percentage in the 20 minutes after the intermission was 14 percent better than the 20 minutes preceding it.

“I guess the message at halftime was we have to come out and hit first,” Releford said. “We just can’t let up, because we know we were going to come out and get their best shot. We just had to hit first.”

Grant added, “When we get good looks, trust your preparation, go play. Don’t be hesitant. I thought the guys did a great job of responding to that.”

The Tigers have done the exact opposite, losing rhythm going down the stretch. From Christmas Day to Jan. 16, the Tigers scored 75.8 points per game. Since then, Auburn has averaged 57.75 points per contest. Auburn’s 43 points was the fewest it has scored against Alabama since 1949.

“If you can put a finger on it, it would be easily fixed,” Auburn forward Rob Chubb said. “People aren’t creating how they should be. Aggressiveness on the offensive end is one of the reasons.”

Chubb led the Tigers in scoring with 13 points. Frankie Sullivan continued to slump for Auburn. He finished 1-of-9 shooting for six points.

Auburn coach Tony Barbee added, “Did you watch the game? Missing layups, missing open shots. We probably missed 20 layups tonight. How are you going to win a game when you miss 20 layups?”