Nick Saban doesn’t get out-coached very often. In fact, it’s a rare occurrence. But Alabama’s defeat on Saturday was caused by Gus Malzahn’s brilliant formation on fourth down, in an obvious punting situation, which led to a penalty against Alabama.
Auburn lined up their punter out wide at the receiver position. Alabama, in much confusion, attempted mass-substitutions to adjust the Tigers’ unique formation.
In the midst of said confusion, Alabama lined up with 12 men of the field, causing the refs to penalize the Crimson Tide. The penalty led to an Auburn first down, essentially ending the game as the Tigers proceeded to run out the clock.
Auburn lined up the punter at wide receiver to try to keep Waddle on the sideline. Bama noticed it late and took a penalty in the confusion. So simple, but so smart by Malzahn. Took the game straight out of Bama's hands pic.twitter.com/u0g87fz7as
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) December 1, 2019
Saban has had very few times in his coaching career where he wasn’t prepared for an opponent’s trickery. But simply put – he was outsmarted. And he’s not taking the completely legal play very well.
After the game, Saban discussed Malzahn’s trickery and had one word to describe it: “unfair.”
“Pretty unfair play at the end of the game,” he said.
Saban calls Malzahn’s substitution trick at the end of the game “unfair”
— Matt Scalici (@MattScalici) December 1, 2019
It’s one thing to feel angry or disappointed after a loss. It’s another thing to complain about a completely legal play. This doesn’t exactly bode well for a head coach riddled with success throughout his career. And there’s nothing the Crimson Tide can do about it now.
Auburn’s Iron Bowl victory on Saturday has officially knocked Alabama out of the College Football Playoff race.