Auburn 21, Alabama 13
-- Auburn's stars rescued the Tigers' national championship hopes with a stellar second half.
Jason Campbell passed for 224 yards and Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams ran for second-half touchdowns, leading No. 2 Auburn to a 21-13 victory over Alabama on Saturday.
Now the question is whether an impressive final 30 minutes is enough to cancel out a 6-0 halftime deficit and lackluster start when this game is figured into the Bowl Championship Series standings. The Tigers (11-0, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) were third in the BCS behind second-place Oklahoma, which beat Baylor 35-0, and idle Southern California.
Even the nation's top scoring defense ran into a little trouble late. Alabama (6-5, 3-5) drove 84 yards on 11 plays in the final minutes, scoring on Spencer Pennington's 18-yard pass to D.J. Hall with 1 minute 26 seconds left.
Courtney Taylor recovered the onside kick for the Tigers, who ran out the clock and left their arch rivals' stadium with a hard-fought, if not aesthetically pleasing, victory.
They completed their first perfect regular season since 1993, when the team was on probation. Auburn will get one more chance to make an impression with poll voters and computer programmers against Tennessee in the SEC championship game on Dec. 4, but might need a loss from Oklahoma or USC to make the Orange Bowl.
The defense kept Auburn from serious trouble in the first half and held the league's top running team to 50 yards on 31 carries. Kenneth Darby, the SEC's second-leading rusher, had 19 yards on 14 carries.