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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

Bryan Harsin made 1 big mistake against Alabama

Bryan Harsin with a headset on

The Auburn Tigers gave Alabama all they could handle in the Iron Bowl on Saturday, and actually blew a game they had in hand. Bryan Harsin sure didn’t help himself with a big decision in overtime.

Auburn led 10-0 in the fourth quarter. They allowed a field goal following a TJ Finley interception to make it 10-3. Then they allowed Alabama to score a touchdown to tie the game in the final half-minute of regulation.

It felt like Alabama had the momentum entering overtime. Sure enough, the Crimson Tide scored a touchdown to take a 17-10 lead in the first OT. But Auburn wasn’t done and scored a TD to make it 17-16. Harsin then had a decision: kick the extra point to keep the game going, or go for the win with a 2-point conversion. He chose the safe route and not the risky one. Auburn made the extra point to tie the game.

They eventually lost 24-22 in four overtimes.

There were numerous reasons why Harsin should have gone for two at that point. Alabama is the better team. The longer a game goes on, the more likely it is the better team prevails. Harsin could have reduced the game to one play at a time when Auburn had some momentum and fan support. Additionally, Finley was hurt and hobbling around. The longer the game went on, the worse off his health would have been.

All reasons pointed to them going for two, but Harsin didn’t do it. Nobody should be surprised that Alabama prevailed in the end. Apparently Harsin did not learn anything from Lance Leipold.

The conservative move, plus the team’s fourth quarter meltdown, cost them the victory.

Photo: Oct 16, 2021; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Bryan Harsin during the fourth quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Auburn won 38-23. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

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