Mistakes Prove Costly To Tigers

A trio of Auburn defenders discuss what went wrong in the loss to Alabama.

Tuscaloosa, Ala.--When you look at the final linescore from Saturday's 36-0 Alabama victory over the Auburn Tigers it will look like a domination by Alabama's offense and defense. While there is no questioning the Crimson Tide's defensive outing, Auburn's defense held its own until a series of mistakes in the third quarter literally turned the tide for good.

Following the first 30 minutes of action the Tigers had held Alabama's offense to 10 points and 159 yards of total offense. While it wasn't total domination, their play had kept Auburn in it despite an anemic offense.

Things changed quickly from that point forward though. Coming out to start the third quarter Alabama gained one first down before the Tigers forced a punt, but on the second offensive play a fumble followed by a touchdown pass changed the complexion of the game. Another fumble three plays into the next drive set up yet another score and junior Antonio Coleman says that was the difference in the game.

"We had two quarters of football left," Coleman says. "A couple of turnovers and a couple of big plays and they're up 29-0. It's just all about coming out and perfecting what you do. We gave up a couple of big plays and they cashed in on them."

Fellow defender Chris Evans agrees and says it was up to the defense to pick up the slack and they didn't come through.

"We felt real good going in at 10-0," Evans says. "All the defense had to do was rally and everybody handle their responsibilities and come out and play great football in the second half. We didn't do that."

In the end it was just too much power football from the Alabama offense. Running back Glen Coffee ran for 144 yards and a touchdown while Mark Ingram added 64 yards and two scores. Evans says Alabama's play coupled with mistakes by Auburn proved to be their undoing.

"Alabama is a good football team," Evans says. "We came out and didn't play like we're supposed to. They are a good football team."

Sophomore linebacker Josh Bynes says that while there were times the defense did its job, mostly they continually made mistakes against an offense that they couldn't afford to do that against.

"Their offense did a good job of executing what they were supposed to do," Bynes says. "We didn't do the job on defense by not wrapping up and fitting our gaps like we're supposed to. Their offense is good, but we killed ourselves on cheap plays and missed tackles."

For Evans it was his last shot at the Crimson Tide. Never losing to them in his career, he says that having to remember that as his last Iron Bowl is tough to deal with.

"All of the footsteps that have been laid out before us by guys going out on a high note as the winningest class in school history," Evans says. "It's kind of bad for us to go out on a low note like this.

"It's very disappointing," Evans adds. "It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, especially being my last one and going out on a low note like that. I just hope I set a good example for the young guys coming behind us. Auburn is really going to need them."

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