College Football around Alabama: Iron Bowl Eve
After a shaky first half, top ranked Alabama steadied the ship en route to a 50-17 victory over The Citadel Bulldogs out of the Southern Conference.
Meanwhile, Auburn easily overwhelmed Liberty in their final non-conference game of the season. For other programs in the state, the week prior to Iron Bowl Saturday meant the end of the season regular season for Samford and Jacksonville State and a close to a brief playoff run for West Alabama.
Auburn Demolishes Liberty
The Auburn Tigers blanked the Liberty Flames 53-0 in their final tune up before their season finale at Alabama.
It was just the second shutout in the Gus Malzahn era as the Tigers held the Flames to seven first downs and 134 yards of total offense.
Auburn found little resistance against the Liberty defense scoring on seven of their first eight possessions in the game and nine of their 14 for the game.
Jarrett Stidham had an efficient performance completing 12 of his 18 passes for 178 yards with two passing touchdowns and an addition rushing score.
Cam Martin led all rushers with 17 carries for 116 yards. Including Stidham, three different ball carries scored for Auburn.
UAB Falls at Texas A&M
Texas A&M snapped UAB's eight-game winning streak with a convincing 41-20 win at Kyle Field.
After Texas A&M drew first blood with an early touchdown, UAB signal caller Tyler Johnson, III found Andre Wilson in the end zone for a nine-yard score to tie the game at 7-7.
From there, the Aggies took control by scoring the final 17 points of the half to take a 24-7 lead into the halftime locker room.
Texas A&M tallied 10 points in the third quarter to pull away for the eventual 41-20 final score.
For UAB, Johnson threw for 306 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back Spencer Brown netted 80 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown.
The Blazers conclude the regular season Saturday at 2 PM at Middle Tennessee.
Samford's Devlin Hodges Becomes FCS All-Time Career Passing Leader
The Samford Bulldogs closed the 2018 season with a 38-27 upset win at 17th ranked ETSU.
The Bulldogs scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to pull away for the season ending victory.
In the process, senior quarterback Devlin Hodges surpassed former Alcorn State and NFL signal caller Steve McNair as the FCS's record holder for passing yards in a career. Hodges threw for 404 yards and three rushing touchdowns in his final collegiate game.
Samford completes an up-and-down season with a record of 6-5.
Jacksonville State Loses Five Overtime Thriller
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks and Kennesaw State Owls treated the 17,124 spectators in Atlanta's SunTrust Park to a classic as Kennesaw State outlasted Jacksonville State 60-52 in five overtimes.
The two teams went back and forth in regulation as the Gamecocks took a 14-0 lead halfway through the second quarter, but the Owls answered with 17 consecutive points to grab their first lead of the game at 17-14 in the third quarter.
After 10 straight points from Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State tied the contest at 24-24 on Chandler Burks' one-yard scoring run with 1:24 left in the fourth quarter.
Each team scored seven points in the first two overtimes, eight points in the third overtime and six in the fourth overtime.
In the final overtime, the Owls crossed the end zone on Darnell Holland's 13-yard touchdown scamper plus a two-point conversion pass. JSU saw Zerrick Cooper's pass picked off to end the game.
The Gamecocks enter the FCS Playoffs at 8-3 and will host ETSU for a first round playoff affair at 6:30.
UWA Exists Division II Playoffs
The University of West Alabama ended their 2018 season with a 41-35 loss at Bowie State in the first round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
UWA and Bowie State went toe-to-toe for much of the but Bowie State's back-to-back touchdowns in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference.
The Tigers scored their final touchdown with a little over five minutes left in the game and had one final opportunity with ball inside the Bowie State 25 yard-line before turning it over on downs.
UWA quarterback Harry Satterwhite threw for 289 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
The Tigers finish the season at 8-4.
Scores around Alabama
#1 Alabama 50 The Citadel 17
Auburn 53 Liberty 0
Texas A&M 41 UAB 20
Troy 12 Texas State 7
Louisiana 48 South Alabama 38
Samford 38 ETSU 27
Kennesaw State 60 Jacksonville State 52 (5 OT)
Alabama A&M 42 Mississippi Valley State 14
Prairie View A&M 66 Alabama State 13
Bowie State 41 West Alabama 35 (NCAA Division II Playoffs: 1st Round)