Fans rip Tank Bigsby for mental mistake in Iron Bowl
Tank Bigsby made a tough mental mistake late in the Iron Bowl. Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn running back Tank Bigsby made a tough mental mistake late in Saturday’s Iron Bowl that wound up costing his team dearly.

The Tigers were clinging to a 10-3 lead over Alabama with 1:54 remaining in regulation, and they were trying to run out the clock. Alabama had only two timeouts remaining, so a first down would have essentially ended the game. That looked out of reach after Auburn lost one yard on first down.

On 2nd-and-11, however, Bigsby came up with a pretty big play. He managed to find space and picked up 10 yards, setting up a 3rd-and-1. There was just one problem — Alabama did a fine job ushering Bigsby out of bounds. That stopped the clock and saved Alabama a timeout, as Bigsby was unable to go down in bounds.

That would not have mattered that much had Auburn converted on 3rd-and-1, but Bigsby was stuffed for a four-yard loss. Auburn had to punt, which set up a game-tying touchdown drive for Alabama.

Auburn’s punt came with 1:43 left in regulation. Had Bigsby stayed in bounds, the Tigers could have run roughly 40 more seconds off the clock. That led a lot of people to criticize Bigsby for hurting Auburn’s cause despite the yardage.

Bigsby was in a really tough spot. He was only a yard short of the first down and seemed to want to go down, but simply couldn’t. It would have been moot with a better 3rd-and-1 play, too. 

Alabama ended up beating Auburn 24-22 in four overtime periods. Fairly or not, Bigsby will have fingers pointed at him for opening the door for the Crimson Tide offense.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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