Alabama's McElroy sustains concussion
Alabama's Greg McElroy never got a chance to direct another game-winning drive against Auburn.
The quarterback's last home game ended in the final minutes of Friday's 28-27 loss to the second-ranked Tigers when he sustained a concussion after getting slammed to the ground on a sack by cornerback T'Sharvan Bell.
Backup A.J. McCarron came in for No. 9 Alabama's final drive with 51 seconds left, but couldn't move the ball.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said McElroy has a concussion.
''It's nothing serious,'' Saban said. ''He's checked out good, so we don't have any issues or problems from that standpoint.''
McElroy was on the field for several minutes and appeared wobbly as he was helped to the sideline. He had a career-high 335 yards passing by halftime and celebrated after Alabama went up 21-0 by stepping back onto the field following the extra point and pumping his fists toward the student section.
He finished 27-of-37 passing for 377 yards but was sacked five times. It was the fourth-best passing performance in Alabama history.
His previous career-high was 315 yards in a loss to South Carolina earlier this season.
McElroy produced one of the biggest highlights of his career in last year's Iron Bowl. He led a near-perfect drive for the game-winning touchdown, a 4-yarder to Roy Upchurch with 1:24 left in the 26-21 win.
''That was probably as good a drive as there's been at Alabama, especially in my five years,'' McElroy said earlier in the week. ''Not to mention the history. It was a historical drive, and it's something that obviously shaped my career.''
The senior, who was a Rhodes Scholarship candidate, gave his teammates a scare at the end of this one instead of thrills.
''Greg is a teammate and a friend of mine,'' tailback Trent Richardson said. ''It hurt me inside. I went out on the field and could see he wasn't moving. I was down there praying for him.''
Added tight end Preston Dial: ''Greg has played some amazing games here. I hated to see him go down. It was tough.''
McElroy had 156 yards and 10 straight completions in the first quarter, including a 68-yard touchdown to Julio Jones and a 12-yarder to Darius Hanks.
He hit on his first two passes of the second quarter to set a school record with 16 completions in a row going back to the Georgia State game.
McElroy and Jones were abusing the Tigers' secondary in the first half. Jones wound up with 199 yards on 10 catches, but had a bruised knee in the second half and returned only for the final possession. Darius Hanks also sustained bruised ribs in the half, Saban said.
''I thought we did a really good job of keeping them off balance in the first half,'' Saban said. ''We threw the ball effectively, and we wanted to do the same thing in the second half but we kind of lost our receivers at one point.
''We did a really good job of attacking them on the perimeter in the first half, and we probably didn't do that enough in the second half.''