Alabama led 24-7 at halftime, the same score as last season at the half. The Tiger defense held Richardson in check, but it was A.J. McCarron and tight end Brad Smelley who were the stars of the Alabama offense with Auburn keying everybody on the run.
Onterio McCalebb returned the opening kickoff to the second half 83 yards for an Auburn touchdown to cut it to 24-14, which also gave a similar feel to last season.
The Auburn defense stood tall for much of the third quarter, but the dam finally broke and Richardson reeled off a 35-yarder to set up a Jeremy Shelley field goal, giving the Crimson Tide a 27-14 lead heading into the fourth.
Unlike Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram the last two years, Trent Richardson was able to get the Tide offense going when it needed it in the fourth. He gashed the Auburn defense off left tackle, then cut back across the right side for a 57-yarder to seal the deal for Alabama.
Head coach Nick Saban, who is selective about when he'll talk about accolades for his players, was complimentary of Richardson after the game.
"To me, Trent Richardson is the best football player in the country," Saban said. "You love saying that about someone who is such a good person, and someone who does so much to serve other people. He is a great teammate.
"He is a leader," Saban added. "He cares about everyone around him. His performance and production pretty much speak for itself. I will say this, he will be the first one to tell you that the offensive line does a pretty good job blocking up front, and that attributes to his success."
When Ingram won the Heisman two years ago, he rushed 16 times for 30 yards in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Richardson carried 27 times for 203 yards on Saturday, with 142 coming in the second half.
"I feel like the team did it," Richardson said of solidifying the Heisman against Auburn. "They did a great job. The whole offensive line did a great job. The defense did a good job keeping us on the field. I don't think it would have been as successful of a game without them. So I don't think I did it, but rather they did it."