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Alabama's Nick Saban: 'It's never OK to lose a game'

01 December, 2016, 06:22 | Author: Lula Armstrong

But it came into play Saturday afternoon at the Iron Bowl, as No. 1-ranked Alabama punched rival Auburn in the mouth, then dusted off its hands and began looking forward to the SEC Championship before the fourth quarter even began in a 30-12 victory. The team was moving the ball, but turnovers cut many drives short.

The Crimson Tide would go for it on fourth down just inside Auburn territory. "We wanted to get back in our groove and get back in our rhythm on the next drive". Hurts and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin worked the offensive gameplan like a backyard Thanksgiving game, scattering bubble screens and rollouts and shovel passes and delayed draws and deep outs all across the field.

Hurts also ran for 37 yards and a touchdown, leading two consecutive touchdown drives in the third quarter to all but put the game away.

Alabama won 29-15 last season en route to a national title. His first half was poor, with two interceptions thrown and a bobbled ball twice within a minute of possession in the second quarter. The passing game fell out of sync, and The Crimson Tide needed someone to step up. Wisconsin (10-3, 7-2 Big Ten) turned in a stalwart defensive effort in the second half after getting outplayed in the first and falling behind by 10 points at halftime. But the Bulldogs had Thomas covered, so Searcy took off through an opening up the middle, jumped at the 3 with the ball outstretched and managed to just get it over the goal line. He can make a at any given moment.

Hurts set an Iron Bowl record last week, completing 27 of 36 passed (75 percent), the highest completion percentage achieved by any quarterback in the series' 81-game history.

He lost a fumble against Ole Miss and Tennessee on sacks, but Hurts fumbled in his previous two games against Mississippi State and Chattanooga on runs.

"He has so much passion for the game", Bozeman said. Vanderbilt scored its most points against an SEC opponent since scoring 49 against Mississippi State on September 25, 1971.

"It just shows how hard we work in our preparation", Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison said.

Back at it: ArDarius Stewart and Jalen Hurts picked up where they left off as they connected on 10 pass plays for 127 yards and a score.

"Fast, explosive, very productive", Howard said. He's good at what he does. We certainly have a lot of respect, faith, trust and confidence in him. Bowl game? We'll see.

Alabama's defense has been the strength of the team in 2016 and has bailed the offense out on numerous occasions this season. Luckily for the Tide, Hurts was able to bounce back and perform better in the second half.

"It was a tough loss for our team", Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. He really did everything tonight.

Scarborough and Alabama's running game started to click in the second half. That wasn't surprising as all three of Auburn's quarterbacks are close.

The Tigers' only points came from the foot of Daniel Carlson.

Alabama still has to get more offense in the downfield passing game but remains dominant on defense.

Even if Alabama were to be upset by No. 15 Florida in the SEC Championship game next Saturday, the College Football Playoff selection committee wouldn't dare eliminate the most frightening team in the conversation from the madness on New Year's Eve. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. EST on CBS.


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