Three takeaways from Auburn's upset of No. 1 Alabama

Alabama’s undefeated season is no more.

No. 6 Auburn capitalized on Alabama mistakes for a 26-14 victory over the top-ranked Crimson Tide in Saturday’s Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium. 

Alabama (11-1) was uncharacteristally sloppy with unforced errors with eight penalties for 59 yards and a crushing sequence midway through the fourth quarter with consecutive fumbles. Though the second fumble was negated because of an Auburn penalty, it was still a drive killer while trailing by 12 points. 

Despite the loss, the Crimson Tide’s College Football Playoff hopes are not dead. Should No. 7 Georgia knock off the sixth-ranked Tigers in next week’s SEC championship game, the CFB Playoff committee might forgive Saturday’s road loss in a rivalry game. 

Auburn (10-2) can all-but clinch a berth in the College Football Playoff with a win over Georgia, a team the Tigers beat 40-17 two weeks ago. 

The Tigers might be without one of their best players, however, as junior running back Kerryon Johnson left in the fourth quarter after rushing for 104 yards and a touchdown. He also threw a 3-yard touchdown pass. 

“I’m so proud of our team,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn told CBS Sports. “We beat them and we beat them handily. There are teams playing their best football and we’re one of them… We’re on our way.”

Here are three takeaways from Auburn’s win over Alabama

1. Nick Saban was actually outcoached — Gus Malzahn pulled out all the stops, including a jump pass from the goal line in the first quarter and a flea flicker in the fourth. Saban is probably the best coach in college football, but his team had no answer for the Tigers Saturday.

Malzahn’s staff had a great gameplan in place and it worked to near perfection. It will be hard for many to swallow if a two-loss Auburn team wins the SEC and gets into the College Football Playoff, but the Tigers are one of the nation’s hottest teams. 

2. Jarrett Stidham is the SEC’s star quarterback — Not many people have talked about the 6-3 sophomore, but Stidham has been great all season. He entered Saturday’s game with 2,445 yards and 16 passing touchdowns to just four interceptions. Stidham has completed more than 67 percent of his passes this season and was 21 of 28 for 237 yards against Alabama. He also ran for 51 yards on 12 carries and a game-sealing 16-yard run early in the fourth quarter. 

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