1. Waddle's game belongs in Alabama lore: Alabama sophomore receiver Jaylen Waddle has already had an impressive season, but he added to it in Saturday’s 48-45 loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Three touchdown catches and a 98-yard kickoff return for a score on any stage deserve to be remembered, but Waddle did it against the Crimson Tide’s biggest rival.
Waddle has already shown he’s a can’t-miss player. If he’s due to get on the field, all distractions are to be minimized just in case he does something worthy of a highlight reel.
The problem has become that Waddle has done so much that he might have too much for a single highlight reel.
2. Video-game scoring: Haul out the comparisons for the 2014 Iron Bowl.
Saturday was the 84th time that Alabama and Auburn had met, but it was just the second time where the teams combined for 80 points.
Of course, in 2014, there was the Tuscaloosa 500 where Alabama won 55-44. The teams combined for 1,169 yards offense.
On Saturday, the two crossed 80 points early in the fourth quarter.
Prior to 2014, it’s easy to count the times the Iron Bowl featured at least 80 points. Everyone — even fans of both teams — can count to zero.
Before 2011, neither team had reached 40 against the other since 1977 when Alabama won 48-21.
For those curious, it hasn’t been that long since a men’s basketball game between the schools failed to register such scoring. On Feb. 6, 2013, the Tigers beat the Crimson Tide 49-37.
3. Taunting reminders: Oh, on the sixth anniversary of the 2013 game, there were so many reminders of how that one ended.
One second is added to the clock — though this time just before halftime — for a long field goal attempt. Auburn made Saturday’s kick, though Alabama was well short on 2013’s effort.
There’s a 100-yard return for a touchdown. This time, it was Zakoby McClain going that far with an interception. Last time, it was Chris Davis returning the missed field goal for a game-ending, game-winning touchdown.
Anyone remember that?
Rushing offense — B: Najee Harris was an all-around threat, reaching triple-digit rushing with a few catches mixed in. He’s a physical force and has amazing speed, though his reaction to Auburn’s interception-TD was laughable.
Rushing defense — D: Alabama looked feeble so many times with Auburn’s JaTarvious “Boobee” Whitlow finding gaping holes to stroll through. Whitlow finished with 114 yards on 16 carries.
Passing offense — C: Mac Jones did throw for five touchdowns. Unfortunately, two were for Auburn. It was amusing watching his feckless pursuit of Zakoby McClain’s 100-yard interception return.
Passing defense — B: The Tide continued to show how much improvement Auburn’s Bo Nix needs to make. Plus, Alabama players kept their cool. The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Auburn’s Seth Williams in the third quarter had its origins in Alabama’s effective coverage.
Special teams — C: Oh, Jaylen Waddle, Jaylen Waddle, Jaylen Waddle. You can’t look away when he goes on the field. That 98-yard kickoff-return TD was just the latest, on top of his three TD catches. At least all those TV commercials gave fans a chance for any necessary breaks. Sophomore kicker Joseph Bulovas, on the other hand …
Coaching — F: The Iron Bowl is a litmus test. Lose and it’s an execrable coaching effort that deserves rants, screams and firings. What assistant coach shall pay the ultimate price for Saturday’s embarrassment?
Overall — F: The Crimson Tide put forth a pitiful effort. Giving up 48 points is simply embarrassing. Bulovas’ upright bounce was just the final stroke of idiocy.
— Montgomery Advertiser