97 Days Away From Alabama Football
With Alabama football officially 97 days away, let’s take a look back at the Tide’s 97-yard drive against Auburn last season.
Alabama trailed 10-3 late in the fourth quarter of the Iron Bowl. With 1:35 remaining and no timeouts, Bryce Young and company took the field needing a touchdown to send the game into overtime.
Young’s first two passes fell incomplete as the Tigers pressure quickly closed in on him. On 3rd-and-10, he stepped up into the pocket and found John Metchie over the middle for a 22-yard completion.
Young picked up nine yards on a first down run and then hit freshman Ja’Corey Brooks for 21 yards — who was in the game because of an ejection to Jameson Williams in the second quarter. After a short run and back-to-back to incompletions, Young found himself running out of downs again.
He flashed a quick smile before a 4th-and-seven play and then drilled Jahleel Billingsley for a 14-yard completion near the Alabama sideline. The Tide picked up a new set of downs as the Auburn crowd looked down in disbelief.
Miscommunication between Young and Brooks resulted in an incompletion on first down and then the pressure caved in again on second, forcing the Alabama quarterback to just get rid of it.
On 3rd-and-10, Young backpedaled and lofted a 28-yard pass to Brooks in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown with 24 seconds remaining in regulation, silencing a sellout crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Young engineered a drive that will go down as one of the great moments in Alabama history. He showed incredible poise that resembled a 10-year veteran operating a two-minute drill.
The game was a back-and-forth affair during the first three overtimes until Kool-Aid McKinstry broke up a pass in the fourth overtime. With Alabama needing a score to win, Young hit Metchie for the two-point conversion to give the Tide a 24-22 victory.
“9 just gave me a route,” said Metchie. “I ran the route he called. So it all go to the quarterback. The kid’s the GOAT. Just following the general, man."
None of that would have been possible without a couple of key defensive plays in the second half. Josh Jobe picked off TJ Finley with 8:35 remaining the in the fourth to give Alabama life. The Tide would kick a field goal on the ensuing possession to make it a one score game.
On Auburn’s final full possession in regulation, Jordan Battle pulled Tiger running back Tank Bigsby out of bounds, which gave the Tide an extra 40 seconds on the clock for their final drive.
"Most of the times, I remember the ones we lose... But I think I'll remember this one,” said Nick Saban after the game.”
Alabama opens the season on Sep. 3 against Utah State in Bryant-Denny Stadium, kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CST.