If there was any fan of college football who didn't know the name Amari Cooper, they sure knew him after the 2014 Iron Bowl. The true junior receiver had been lighting up the scoreboard all season, but this game put him in contention for the Heisman Trophy.
The Crimson Tide was the top ranked team at 10-1 facing 15th ranked Auburn who was 8-3, but you can throw the records out when these two meet. A scrappy redshirt senior had bided his time and worked his way to the position of starting quarterback. Blake Sims would find out early that throwing to the All-American receiver would be a good path to success.
It wouldn’t take Cooper long to make an impact. On the first play of the Tide’s second possession at their own 20, he would take a screen pass for 16 yards and would be dragged down well out of bounds by an Auburn defender to tack on another 15 yards. Four plays later, Sims would find Coop on a flag route for a 17 yard score: UA 14, AU 3.
Auburn would put a scare into the Tide in the third quarter taking a 33-21 lead. A steady diet of T.J. Yeldon would tighten up the Tigers defense and allow Cooper to blow past the secondary for a 39 yard score: AU 33, UA 27.
Daniel Carlson would kick his fifth field goal of the day to extend the Tigers’ lead to 36-27. The ensuing touchback kickoff would give the Tide the ball a mere 75 yards away from the end zone. No problem. On the first play, Cooper turned on the burners and smoked the white jerseys for a score that would electrify the crowd and swing momentum back to the men in Crimson and White: AU 36, UA 34.
The Crimson Tide would go on to score touchdowns on the next three possessions to take a commanding 55-36 lead. The Tigers would add a late meaningless TD on a drive that ate up 3:26 to make it look closer than it was, but the next play would be Sims taking a knee for a 55-44 Alabama win.
Cooper would finish the game with 13 grabs for 224 yards and 3 scores. This display added to the résumé that would make him the fourth overall pick to the Oakland Raiders in the 2015 NFL Draft. In his two pro seasons, he has made the Pro Bowl both times.
For the 2014 season, Cooper set Crimson Tide records with 124 catches for 1,727 yards and 16 TDs. For his Alabama career of only three seasons, he corralled 228 balls for 3,463 yards and a whopping 31 touchdowns, all of which are school records by a wide margin. Calvin Ridley who is already ninth in career yards at the Capstone will need 1,650 yards in 2017 to top that number.
ALABAMA CAREER RECEIVING STATS
Will Calvin Ridley pass Amari Cooper's career numbers (Rec, Yds, TDs) this season?
This poll is closed
Yes, he will be king of Alabama receiving.
Yes, receptions and yards but not TDs.
No, there are too many other good receivers to share the ball with this year.
Other (see my witty insights in comments).