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91 Days ‘Til Alabama Football: Bo Scarbrough carries Tide to Iron Bowl victory

Bo puts the Tide on his ample shoulders and runs to victory.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Alabama
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Bo Scarbrough’s teammates call him The Monster.

Auburn agrees.

In the 2016 Iron Bowl, the Tide’s ground game had been stymied by a vicious Auburn defense (that was compounded by a less-than-inspiring game plan by then-OC Lane Kiffin.) The Tigers sold out against the run, frequently having as many as nine- and even occasionally ten-man man fronts, daring the Tide to run right into the teeth of an overloaded defense.

For most of the first half, the strategy was effective. Bo, the only healthy back at the time, had just four carries and 17 yards at the break, where the Tide led just 13-9. Jalen Hurts had largely been neutralized as well: His legs weren’t moving the chains and he had thrown some bad passes, including an awful pick deep in ‘Bama territory late in the half.

But, as we saw frequently last season, only injuries can stop Bo for 60 minutes. Scarbrough’s stat-line wasn’t dominating: He had 91 yards on 17 carries. But, those were 91 consistent, hard-fought yards picking and weaving and battering his way through 8- and 9-man fronts. And, with the Tide up and 7:02 left in the game, the Tide found itself inside its own five-yard line needing to move the chains and put the game away.

For a team that had not consistently moved the ball, Scarbrough had his biggest drive of the Iron Bowl. Displaying power, nice foot work, and surprisingly fresh legs, The Monster picked up yard-after-yard all the way to the Barn redzone. That drive exhausted the remainder of the fourth quarter, and secured a perfect Alabama regular season record.

For Bo, it was a Derrick Henry-type moment: contributions that showed more on the final score than on his stat sheet. Besides his 91 yards on the ground, Bo was active in a passing game which generated 288 yards and a score as both a blocker, decoy and receiver. The Tide up just 13-9, he had an excellent block, on the edge neutralizing the both the lead and backside pursuit. Jalen Hurts was able to get the corner and scamper in for a 20-9 score, which would put the Iron Bowl away for good.

This was an oldschool effort and prototypical Alabama power football. Enjoy the best blue-collar work of Bo’s career:

And, just because fAU, here are the highlight of Alabama’s third-straight Iron Bowl win, the Tide’s 7th victory in the last nine meeting with API.

91 days ‘til Alabama football.

Roll Tide