2014 Iron Bowl Auburn Football vs Alabama Final Score, Game Recap


The 2014 Iron Bowl had the makings of one of the all-time greats, but the Auburn defense just couldn’t keep up with Amari Cooper in the second half. Instead, the Tigers were gassed and gashed and dropped the 79th edition of the annual in-state slugfest 55-44.

The loss drops Auburn to 8-4 this season and 4-4 in SEC play. The Tigers will wait a week to learn their bowl destination. Alabama moved to 11-1 and is likely to hold on to their No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff committee rankings. The Crimson Tide play Missouri next Saturday in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.

Many offensive records fell tonight in Tuscaloosa. The 2014 Iron Bowl featured 99 points and 1,169 yards and several outstanding individual performances.

Nick Marshall‘s 456 passing yards made him the single-game Auburn record holder. The senior completed 27 of 43 passes, three of which went for touchdowns, but was intercepted in a key spot late in the third quarter. He added 49 yards on the ground.

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Playing in his final regular season game, Marshall utilized his best offensive weapons – receivers Duke Williams and Sammie Coates. The juniors combined for 327 receiving yards, including a career-high 206 for Coates (153 in the first half), who did it on only five receptions. He added two TDs. Williams caught seven passes, several of them extraordinary, but he also had a big miss in the end zone that kept the Tigers out of the end zone.

And that was a major issue all night long for the Tigers. In their first six trips to the red zone, Auburn settled for five field goals. Alabama was 5-for-5 scoring touchdowns. That’s a difference of 13 points.

What may have been worse, however, the Auburn defense simply couldn’t stop the Crimson Tide. Alabama had 539 yards of total offense and scored touchdowns on five straight possessions in the second half. Amari Cooper gashed the Auburn secondary for 224 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 13 catches.

T.J. Yeldon added 127 yards and two scores on the ground and Derrick Henry put the final nail in the coffin with two long runs including a 25-yarder with 3:46 on the clock to give the Tide a 55-36 lead. Henry’s TD capped a 28-0 run for the Tide.

The Alabama defense came into the game allowing an average of 16.9 points and 283 yards of total offense. Auburn racked up 44 points and 630 total yards, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

The game started awkwardly when a kick pass onside kick attempt went out of bounds and gave Auburn great field position. However, the first offensive play of the game – a swing pass from Nick Marshall to Roc Thomas, was called a fumble, which Alabama recovered at the 35-yard line. Just a few plays later, Yeldon gave the Tide a 7-0 lead with an 8-yard touchdown run.

Auburn answered with a strong drive, but could not find the end zone – a theme in the first half of the game – and settled for a 20-yard Daniel Carlson field goal. But, Alabama answered with an impressive drive of their own, which ended with Cooper’s 12 touchdown catch of the season – a 17-yarder from Blake Sims

The Tigers took the football on the ensuing drive and quickly pushed the football into the red zone. On 4th-and-1 at the Alabama 8-yard line, Auburn converted with a Marshall quarterback sneak, but the QB failed to connect on three passes and Carlson hit a 25-yarder to draw within one possession at 14-6. It was more of the same the following drive. The Tigers forced the first punt of the game, but couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone and Carlson hit his third field goal of 25-yards or less. At that point, Auburn had 199 yards of offense and nine points.  But then, the Auburn defense stepped up. Sims’ first incompletion of the night was an interception by Jermaine Whitehead. The pick was the 17th of the season for the Tigers, which is the most for an Auburn football squad since 2009. Shortly thereafter, Auburn finally found pay dirt when Marshall found Coates for a 34-yard TD and Auburn took their first lead of the game, 16-14.   

The defense was big again and sacked Sims on 3rd-and-3 to put an end to the next drive. Junior linebacker Anthony Swain got to the quarterback for the first time in his career. However, the Tigers had to give the ball back, and Alabama retook the lead on a quick touchdown drive with just 1:23 on the clock in the half.

Not much time? Not a problem for Auburn. The Tigers needed only two plays – one of them a 68-yard pass and catch from Marshall to Coates – to retake the lead, 23-21.

But the Tigers weren’t done, and Rudy Ford intercepted Sims to give Auburn a chance to score once more before halftime. Gus Malzahn dial up a trick play out of the Wildcat, a reverse pass that ended with Marshall throwing a 40-yard bomb to Coates, who went up for a great catch, that came up just shy of the end zone. Carlson’s fourth short field goal gave Auburn a 26-21 lead at the half.

The Tigers kept the momentum following the break. Auburn intercepted Blake Sims for the third time on the first drive of the third quarter and set up a quick-strike opportunity for the offense. Jonathan Jones had the honor of give an Alabama quarterback his third pick in the same game for the first time in the Nick Saban era.

On 3rd-and-5 from the 6-yard line, Marshall threw his third touchdown of the night, this one to Quan Bray, and the Tigers led 33-21.

Cooper brought the Tide back to within one possession when he caught a long touchdown pass from Sims, but Angelo Blackson blocked the extra point. Following another long Auburn drive – which included a spectacular 35-yard catch by Bray – Carlson’s fifth field goal of the night made it 36-27.

But the Auburn defense was torched again by Amari Cooper, who caught his ninth pass and third touchdown of the night – 75-yarder, which made it a 36-34 game late in the third quarter.

Not long after, Marshall was intercepted. Alabama took advantage of the great field position and Sims scored on an 8-yard scramble. The 2-point conversion gave the Tide a 42-36 lead that they would never relinquish.

In the game, Corey Grant – a former player at Alabama – became the 41st Auburn Tiger to break the 1,000-yard rushing mark. He finished with 34 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Cameron Artis-Payne, the SEC’s leading rusher, had 77 yards on 25 carries.

Next: Video: Iron Bowl Memories