Auburn had their chance to take control of this year’s Iron Bowl early, but as many opponents have found out this season it is difficult to keep Alabama down for very long. Alabama was largely ineffective on offense in the first quarter, but the top-ranked team in the country holds a 21-14 advantage at the half.
Auburn’s dynamic quarterback Nick Marshall tore through Alabama’s defense midway through the first quarter, weaving and dashing for a 45-yard touchdown run against the SEC’s top rushing defense. Alabama then scored 21 straight points in the second quarter, starting with AJ McCarron completing a short pass to Jalston Fowler early in the second quarter to tie the game to finish off a 67-yard drive over 11 plays. A few minutes later McCarron again struck for a touchdown pass, this time to Kevin Norwood from the 20-yard line. T.J. Yeldon pushed a third touchdown up through a goal line pile after a video replay overturned a dazzling touchdown run down the left sideline by Amari Cooper.
Just as it seemed Alabama was going to be in full control after establishing a dominating 21-7 lead, Auburn finally got their running back back on track in the second quarter with a late touchdown. Tre Mason rushed for 64 yards on four quick plays to start the drive and Marshall looked to have a touchdown run from 15 yards out but a video review overruled the original call and placed the football on the one-yard line. Mason punched it in from the goal line to finish off the drive.
The winner of this game will advance to the SEC Championship Game next week in Atlanta. The winner also remains in the hunt for a BCS Championship Game appearance. This should be a dandy of a second half coming our way.