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Tre Mason ran 29 times for 164 yards and a touchdown. Auburn ran 52 times for 296 yards against a defense that came in giving up 91 yards a game on the ground.

Alabama, which outgained Auburn 495-393, countered with Yeldon’s own workhorse performance. Yeldon gained 141 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

The defenses both came up big late in the fourth.

Adrian Hubbard corralled Marshall on fourth and inches from Auburn’s 35.

But then Auburn’s defenders followed suit. Freshman Carl Lawson led the charge in stuffing T.J. Yeldon on fourth down from the 13 when Saban opted against sending Foster back out.

“I don’t ever like to say I don’t have confidence in a player,” Saban said. “But I think the percentages were we would make the first down. We’ve been a very good short yardage team all year. It didn’t work out that way.

“Myself and a lot of other people would probably say we should have kicked a field goal there. But we had another field goal from the same spot that we missed. So you can’t take it for granted that we would have made it.”