Milroe’s TD pass to Bond on fourth-and-31 rescues No. 8 Alabama in 27-24 win over Auburn

by Chloe Baker
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Fourth-and-31 Touchdown

Jalen Milroe and Isaiah Bond played a pivotal role in rescuing Alabama’s playoff aspirations, as they connected for a crucial touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 31-yard line to secure a hard-fought 27-24 victory over Auburn this past Saturday.

In a tense and dramatic contest at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Bond managed to secure Milroe’s desperate pass in the left corner of the end zone with a mere 32 seconds remaining on the game clock. This remarkable play ensured that the Crimson Tide, with an impressive record of 11-1 in the Southeastern Conference, clinched their tenth consecutive win in the storied Iron Bowl rivalry.

Alabama found themselves trailing by four points with just 1:43 left on the clock when they had a first-and-goal opportunity from the Auburn 7-yard line. However, a series of unfortunate events unfolded, including an errant snap that cost them 18 yards and an illegal downfield pass penalty on third down, which pushed them back an additional 5 yards, after Milroe had already crossed the line of scrimmage.

It’s worth noting that two years ago, Alabama required four overtime periods to secure a victory against the Tigers at this very venue, where the legendary “Kick Six” play etched its place in college football history a decade ago.

The final moments of the game almost witnessed Alabama returning an interception for yet another touchdown. Nevertheless, this contest will be forever remembered for the remarkable fourth-and-31 play, during which Auburn failed to exert any significant pressure on Milroe before he connected with Bond.

Ja’Varrius Johnson was instrumental for the Tigers, contributing with a 27-yard touchdown catch and a 12-yard rushing touchdown, putting Auburn in a promising position to clinch the win.

Milroe had a standout performance, passing for 259 yards and two touchdowns while adding 107 rushing yards to his tally. Jermaine Burton also impressed with 107 receiving yards, including a spectacular 68-yard touchdown. Bond played a crucial role, securing five catches for a total of 75 yards.

On the Auburn side, Payton Thorne passed for 91 yards, threw a touchdown pass, and ran for 58 yards. Jarquez Hunter rushed for an impressive 93 yards, while Damari Alston contributed 85 yards on the ground.

Despite being favored by 12 1/2 points according to FanDuel Sportsbook, Alabama managed to secure their place in the SEC Championship Game against the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, keeping their playoff hopes alive, albeit with a touch of uncertainty.

A fumbled punt return provided Alabama with excellent field position on the Auburn 30-yard line with just 4:48 left in the game. However, cornerback Nehemiah Pritchett made a crucial tackle, stopping Milroe one yard short of a first down on a critical third-and-20 play. Roydell Williams stepped up with a successful pitch conversion on fourth down, setting the stage for the game-winning score.

Midway through the third quarter, Thorne found Ja’Varrius Johnson wide open for a touchdown, giving Auburn a brief 21-20 lead. A 21-yard field goal by Alex McPherson extended Auburn’s advantage to 24-20 with 10 minutes left.

In summary, Alabama faced a stern test in this contest, particularly after building momentum in the lead-up to the Iron Bowl. They outgained Auburn in total yardage, amassing 451 yards compared to Auburn’s 337.

Auburn, on the other hand, displayed resilience following their previous 31-10 loss to New Mexico State. Their running game, which had faltered in the earlier game, came to life, accumulating an impressive 244 yards in this clash.

Looking ahead, Alabama’s next challenge lies in Atlanta, where they will face the formidable Georgia Bulldogs. Auburn, meanwhile, awaits their bowl game destination.

For more updates on college football rankings, please visit: AP Top 25 College Football Poll and College Football News.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fourth-and-31 Touchdown

Q: What was the critical play that secured Alabama’s victory over Auburn?

A: The pivotal play that clinched Alabama’s 27-24 win over Auburn was a fourth-and-goal touchdown pass from Jalen Milroe to Isaiah Bond from the 31-yard line with just 32 seconds remaining in the game. This remarkable connection in the end zone rescued Alabama’s playoff hopes.

Q: How did Alabama find themselves in a challenging situation late in the game?

A: Alabama had first-and-goal at the Auburn 7-yard line but faced adversity as they lost 18 yards due to a bad snap and incurred a 5-yard penalty for an illegal downfield pass on third down, ultimately moving them backward.

Q: Who were the standout players for Alabama in this game?

A: Jalen Milroe had a standout performance for Alabama, passing for 259 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 107 yards. Jermaine Burton contributed with 107 receiving yards, including a 68-yard touchdown, and Isaiah Bond had a crucial touchdown catch.

Q: What was Auburn’s performance in this game, and who were their key players?

A: Auburn displayed a resilient performance, with notable contributions from Ja’Varrius Johnson, who scored both a 27-yard touchdown catch and a 12-yard rushing touchdown. Payton Thorne passed for 91 yards and a touchdown and added 58 rushing yards.

Q: What’s next for Alabama and Auburn following this game?

A: Alabama advances to the SEC Championship Game to face top-ranked Georgia, keeping their playoff hopes alive. Auburn is now awaiting their bowl game destination.

Q: What is the significance of the Iron Bowl rivalry mentioned in the text?

A: The Iron Bowl is a highly anticipated and storied rivalry game between Alabama and Auburn, known for its intense competition and historic moments in college football.

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