Skip to main content

Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio outstanding in Iron Bowl loss

NFL scouts from the St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Chicago Bears were credentialed to witness Auburn's stunning upset of No. 1 Alabama. Below is College Football 24/7's play-by-play analysis of Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, one of the nation's top underclassmen. Kouandjio has yet to decide whether to enter the NFL next year:

Run blocking: Kouandjio's first-half took a bit of a turn when Auburn opted to line up standout pass rusher Dee Ford on the right side against the opposite tackle, Austin Shepherd. That left Kouandjio working mostly against Auburn's Nosa Eguae, and what was expected to be a day in which Kouandjio would be tested as a pass blocker ended up being more about the running game. Kouandjio pancaked Eguae on a 5-yard gain by T.J. Yeldon on the opening series, setting the tone for an excellent day. Kouandjio put a devastating block on freshman Carl Lawson on a second-quarter gain of 13 by Yeldon, and handled Eguae with relative ease. His worst play might have been on a 28-yard run by Amari Cooper to the Auburn 1, on which Kouandjio badly missed a block trying to lead the way, but Cooper managed to break free anyway. Kouandjio brought out his patented "slap" move on Lawson and sent him reeling to the turf on a first-half draw play. ... In the second half, Kouandjio continued to deliver solid drive blocks when Alabama chose to run, although the Crimson Tide took to the air for much of the second half. He also had an outstanding backside cut block of linebacker Jake Holland to help spring Yeldon for 6 yards. Yeldon finished the game with 141 yards on 26 carries. Eguae made just two assisted tackles on the day.

Pass blocking: Kouandjio got a variety of looks from the Auburn defense in pass protection, not only against Eguae but vs. Lawson and linebacker LaDarius Owens, as well. He had little trouble against any of them but was especially effective against Lawson. He gave quarterback AJ McCarron more than enough time to throw on a touchdown pass to Kevin Norwood in the first half, working against Lawson with ease. The Tigers did little in the way of stunting up front on Kouandjio's side, making for simpler recognition. Alabama gave Kouandjio double-team help on only one play in the first half. None was needed. ... McCarron got plenty of time to throw throughout the second half, and Alabama relied heavily on Kouandjio's ability to protect the blind-side edge. In particular, Kouandjio was a key on McCarron's 99-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper. McCarron moved left in the pocket and looked left to draw safety coverage before throwing deep to the right side to Cooper, and Kouandjio had the edge sealed to allow it. Lawson saw most of the pass-rush duty to that side and made only one tackle.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread.*

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content