After blowing most opponents off the field in the first half, No. 1 Alabama heads to the locker room locked in a tussle. The Tide has not trailed, but finds itself leading Auburn just 17-14.
After a rare punt on its first possession, Alabama took advantage of good field position to draw first blood, scoring on a 7-yard Tua Tagovailoa run.
Auburn tied the game with a 10-play, 73-yard drive featuring mostly runs, including a 9-yarder by Anthony Schwartz to paydirt.
Alabama answered with an 8-play, 65-yard scoring jaunt, taking a 14-7 lead on a 4-yard Henry Ruggs III toss from Tagovailoa. Alabama threatend on its next possession, achieving a 1st-and-10 from the Auburn 11-yard line, but the Tide settled for a 30-yard Joseph Bulovas field goal.
After forcing Alabama’s first three-and-out of the game, Auburn forced a big play from a different kind of Alabama kicking blunder by blocking a Mike Bernier punt at the Alabama 23. The Tigers took advantage of the short field by scoring on a 23-yard throwback pass from wide receiver Ryan Davis to running back Malik Miller, pulling Auburn within 17-14 with 4:04 left in the first half. It was Davis’s third career touchdown pass.
Auburn forced a second straight three-and-out on Alabama’s next possession, but Gus Malzahn was content to run out the remainder of the first half rather than push for the lead.
Alabama will receive to open the second half.