No. 8 Alabama’s last-minute prayer answered to avoid Iron Bowl upset against Auburn

Almost 10 years to the day since the most improbable play in Iron Bowl history, the Kick Six now has company.

No. 8 Alabama avoided an upset to Auburn and came away with a 27-24 win in what became an instant classic on a miraculous play.

The Crimson Tide got the ball with 6:19 to go, but Auburn forced a three and out. However, the Tigers later muffed a punt, and Alabama recovered at the Auburn 30-yard line. 

Despite getting a first down, Bama later faced a 3rd and 20. Jalen Milroe ran for 19 yards before getting popped, and it was 4th and 1 for the Tide. 

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Jalen Milroe celebrates

Jalen Milroe #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates their 27-24 win over the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Bama got the first down. But on second down, Milroe wasn’t ready for a snap, pushing Bama back to the 26-yard line. On third down, Milroe threw an illegal pass beyond the line of scrimmage, pushing Bama back to the 31 for a fourth and goal.

Auburn had a 99.9% chance of emerging victorious at this point, according to ESPN’s win probability, but Alabama prevailed.

Milroe somehow found Isaiah Bond in the back corner of the end zone, and the PAT gave the Tide a 27-24 lead.

Auburn fumbled on the first play of the ensuing drive, and with the Tigers rushing to get a final snap off, Payton Thorne threw an interception to ice the game.

Isaiah Bond touchdown

Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Isaiah Bond (17) scores the game winning touchdown over Auburn Tigers cornerback D.J. James (4) during the fourth quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium.  (John Reed-USA TODAY Sports)

Auburn took its first lead late in the second quarter. After Damari Alston ran for 56 yards, Ja’Varrius Johnson ran for the final 12 yards into the end zone to give the Tigers a 14-10 lead.  On Bama’s third play of its next drive, Milroe found Jermaine Burton for 68 yards to put the Tide back up 17-14 just before the half.

Alabama kicked a field goal early in the third, but Auburn answered with Johnson’s second touchdown of the night, and the PAT put Auburn up, 21-20. A personal foul negated an Alabama first down, and two plays later, the Crimson Tide missed a 42-yard field goal that would have put them ahead. Auburn responded with a field goal of its own to go up four points with 10:15 to go, but that was the last time the Tigers led.

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It was Alabama’s fourth consecutive Iron Bowl win.

With the victory, Alabama still has a shot at playing in the College Football Playoff. No two-loss team has made the playoff, so without that late touchdown, Alabama was likely done for, no matter what happens in next Saturday’s SEC championship against No. 1 Georgia. Instead, the Crimson Tide are 11-1, and they’re still alive.

line of scrimmage

Jalen Milroe (4) of the Alabama Crimson Tide lines the offense up against the Auburn Tigers during the second quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium Nov. 25, 2023, in Auburn, Ala. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Auburn ended its season 6-6.

Now, just like 10 years ago, the game-winning play needs a name. The Nightmare at Jordan-Hare has a nice ring to it.

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