Iron Bowl drama: no. 3 Alabama edges Auburn, 24-22, in four overtimes

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In the first Iron Bowl overtime in history, No. 3 Alabama defeated unranked, 19-point underdog Auburn, 24-22, in four overtimes Saturday night at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young hit a two-point conversion pass to wide receiver John Metchie III in the fourth overtime for the victory. Defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry broke up a pass from Auburn quarterback TJ Finley to wide receiver Shedrick Jackson on Auburn’s previous two-point conversion attempt, and Alabama took over.

When college games are still tied after three overtime periods, teams are forced to go for two.

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban talks with players in a time out during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Auburn, Ala.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban talks with players in a time out during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Auburn, Ala.
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

After a 10-10 tie in regulation, Alabama had possession first in overtime and took a 17-10 lead on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Young to wide receiver Slade Bolden. Auburn answered with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Finley to tight end Landen King, who made a one-handed catch for a 17-17 tie.

Auburn took a 20-17 lead on a 49-yard field goal by Ben Patton. Will Reichard followed with a 37-yard field goal to tie it 20-20.

Alabama (11-1, 7-1 SEC) trailed all game before tying it 10-10 on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Young to wide receiver Ja’Corey Brooks with 24 seconds to play in regulation. Brooks caught the ball just inbounds, but it was reviewed to see if he maintained control of the ball as he fell. The touchdown stood. Will Reichard’s extra point was good. And Auburn (6-6, 3-5 SEC) ran out the clock to bring the game into overtime.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) celebrates with Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III (8) after a 24-22 4-overtime win over Auburn in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Auburn, Ala.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) celebrates with Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III (8) after a 24-22 4-overtime win over Auburn in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Auburn, Ala.
(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Auburn’s defense stuffed an Alabama fourth-and-one play on the Alabama 46-yard line with two minutes to play in the game and looked in control until Alabama’s final drive.

The Crimson Tide didn’t score its first points until a 30-yard field goal by Reichard with 8:44 to go in the fourth quarter.

After a scoreless opening period, Finley put the Tigers up 7-0 on a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kobe Hudson with 6:50 to go in the second quarter. That stood as the first half ended. It marked the first time Alabama did not score in the first half of an Iron Bowl since a 9-0 loss in 2000.

Auburn quarterback TJ Finley (1) rolls away from pressure during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Auburn, Ala.

Auburn quarterback TJ Finley (1) rolls away from pressure during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Auburn, Ala.
(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

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Auburn made it 10-0 on a 33-yard field goal by Patton with 11:43 to go in the third quarter.

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