Under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama has won six national championships. It, however, has just two perfect seasons during that span.
One might argue that it would have two more without losses at Jordan-Hare Stadium. One of those came on this day five years ago.
Setting the Stage
Alabama was 11-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country as it arrived at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Nov. 25, 2017. The Crimson Tide had won three straight in the series — all by at least 11 points.
Ranked No. 6, Auburn was 9-2 and needed just a win over Alabama to win the SEC West. That’s exactly what it would get.
Auburn Finishes Strong
Daniel Carlson’s field goal on the final snap of the first half gave the Tigers a 10-7 lead at the break, but Alabama needed just 98 seconds to retake the lead in the third quarter. Bo Scarbrough’s 21-yard touchdown run put Alabama back in front 14-10, but that would be its final score of the day.
After a second Carlson field goal cut the lead to one, Kerryon Johnson’s 1-yard touchdown run capped a methodical 12-play, 69-yard, 5-minute drive. The ensuing Alabama drive ended on a mishandled snap on a field goal attempt. Johnson and Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham went to work as the Tigers marched 74 yards. Stidham’s 16-yard touchdown run capped the scoring.
The next two drives for Alabama ended on downs.
Johnson rushed for 104 yards and also threw a touchdown in the victory. Stidham passed for 237 yards while Ryan Davis led all receivers with 11 catches for 137 yards. Alabama rushed for 211 yards, but could get nothing going through the air.
Box score and recap:
After beating Georgia 40-17 in the regular season, Auburn was the victim of a 28-7 rout in an SEC Championship rematch. The Tigers fell to UCF in the Peach Bowl 34-27 to finish 10-4 and No. 10 in the final AP Poll.
The Crimson Tide would still get a playoff berth. After topping Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, Alabama rallied to beat Georgia in an overtime thriller for the national championship, 26-23.
While the loss to Auburn didn’t keep Alabama from winning a national championship, it did end its SEC title hopes. That upset came on this day five years ago.
Featured image courtesy of Auburn athletics