Nov. 29, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide beat Auburn, 26-21, on the Plains Friday, marching down the field to score a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to secure its second consecutive undefeated regular season. Offensively, the two teams were closely matched, with Alabama gaining 292 total yards of offense while the Tigers accumulated 332. Senior running back Roy Upchurch scored the go-ahead touchdown on a four-yard pass from junior quarterback Greg McElroy with a minute and 24 seconds left in the game.
Sophomore receiver Julio Jones had nine catches for 83 yards on the day, including four catches for 33 yards on the Tide's last scoring drive. Senior Leigh Tiffin kicked a pair of third quarter field goals to not only set the career and single -season field goals made record but to also pull the Tide within one point of the Tigers, 21-20, going into the fourth quarter. Freshman Trent Richardson scored on a two-yard run in the second quarter to get Alabama on the board while junior Colin Peek caught a 33-yard pass from McElroy to send the game into the half tied 14-14.
Alabama returns to action next Saturday at 4 p.m. (ET) in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game in Atlanta, Ga. against No. 1 ranked Florida. The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports.
BY THE NUMBERS: Here is a look at some of the numbers from Alabama's win over Auburn.
12 - Alabama completed its second straight 12-win season with its 26-21 win over Auburn last Friday. The back-to-back 12-win seasons sets the UA school record for most wins in a regular season. In addition, the 12 wins are the second most in school history, joining the 1979 (12-0), 1994 (12-1) and 2008 (12-2) squads.
40.2 - The net punting average for Alabama senior punter P.J. Fitzgerald in his final regular season game at Alabama. The Coral Springs, Fla., native punted five times for 226 yards for a 45.2-yard average, while the Tigers managed only five punt return yards on two returns in the game. There was also one touchback.
.875 - Junior quarterback Greg McElroy's completion percentage on the Crimson Tide's game-winning 79-yard drive against the Tigers. McElroy completed 7 of 8 passes for 63 yards, including the game-winning 4-yard TD pass to senior Roy Upchuch with 1:24 left in the game. It was Upchurch's 12th catch of the season and his first career TD reception for the Tide.
1,725 - The career punt return yards for Alabama senior return man Javier Arenas. The senior from Tampa, Fla., has 121 career punt returns for an SEC record 1,725 yards. He has two returns for 67 yards in the win over Auburn to break a 50-year SEC punt return record held by Vanderbilt's Lee Nalley, who accumulated 1,649 yards from 1947-49. Arenas needs 36 yards to tie Wes Welker's (Texas Tech) NCAA career punt return record of 1,761 yards from 2000-03.
NEXT GAME: Alabama and Florida will meet in the 2009 SEC Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The game will be nationally televised by CBS Sports. The game will feature two of the SEC's best defenses. Florida leads the SEC in total defense (233.08 ypg) and scoring defense (9.83 ppg), while Alabama is second in total defense (233.92 ypg) and second in scoring defense (10.83 ppg).