"Holy Toledo!"

December 1, 2013

How Do You Top The “Prayer From Jordan-Hare”?

Filed under: College Football, Vintage Sports Video — Bill @ 5:36 pm

Question: If you are the Auburn Tigers how do you follow up the amazing “Prayer at Jordan-Hare”?
Answer: You beat your rivals the Alabama Crimson Tide in one of the greatest football games ever played.

The 1984 Orange Bowl was a fantastic game, but Miami and Nebraska weren’t exactly rivals. Earlier that season Doug Flutie & Bernie Kosar met in an epic duel that will go down in history as one of the great games. The only thing lacking is that while Miami was nationally ranked, Boston College wasn’t also in the fight for a national championship. Super Bowl XXIII had everything on the line but for the first three and a half quarters the 49ers and Bengals game lacked big plays, and was a bit subdued. The famous 1981 Kellen Winslow amazing playoff game between the Chargers and Dolphins had it all, except for the rivalry aspect.

Yesterday two bitter inner-state rivals met for much more than bragging rights. The Auburn Tigers came into the annual Iron Bowl ranked #4 in the nation, and had their entire season on the line. A win meant a berth to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta next Saturday, and their hopes to play for the college football national championship in January. They also had revenge on their mind, the last two times these two met the Tigers had been outscored 92-14.

The War Eagle / Roll Tide rivalry has become a way of life in the South. Friends and families are made or broken based upon where your loyalties lie. These two teams were meeting for the 78th time, dating back to 1893.

The Crimson Tide of Alabama has a long history of winning, and beating up on most who dare get in their path. Bama’s history is littered with names such as Paul “Bear Bryant, Joe Namath and Ken Stabler. More recently the boys from Bama led by somewhat controversial head coach Nick Saban (son of Lou) had won back to back national championships, and behind Heisman hopeful QB A.J. McCarron they hoped to go for the three-peat. Their road to the title ran thru Auburn.

The stage was set for number 1 ranked Alabama to invade Jordan-Hare stadium to take on #4 ranked Auburn. The winner goes on to the SEC Championship, the loser goes home.

(my description fails to properly describe the true greatness of this game so bear with me)

Auburn got on the board first taking a 7-0 lead before Alabama began to flex their power. When the Tide scored to make it 21-7 things looked bleak for War Eagle. Back they fought, eventually tying the game at 21 each. When Auburn’s ace punter Steve Clark pinned down Bama for the second straight time at the one yard line it looked good for the Tigers. However on the ensuing play A.J. McCarron launched a deep pass that was hauled in for a scintillating 99 yard TD pass. Midway through the 4th quarter and Alabama led 28-21.

Auburn’s fast paced offense could do little against the Tide’s fired up defense and twice they gave up field position, including once on their own 35 yard line after a failed 4th & 1 attempt. The two-time champions now had their chance to end this game. In a decision that coach Saban will look back upon forever, he opted to go for it on 4th & 1 instead of trying a mid-range field goal that would have put his team up by 10 with less than two minutes remaining.

As the crowd went wild the Alabama running back was stuffed on the play, and the Tide had failed to build on their 7 point lead leaving one last door open for the Auburn Tigers.

The Tigers are not a team that passes the ball very effectively, they are built to run the ball right down your throat. This type of attack is intimidating, but isn’t conducive to successful last minute drives. However logical sequences of events mean nothing to the 2013 Auburn Tigers, for they have something greater on their side. Miracles.

With the clock running down the Auburn QB rolled left, and just when you thought he was going to run with the ball he flipped it to a wide open receiver who ran unmolested for a 39 yard game tying TD. In fairness to the defender who was covering that receiver, he was caught in no-man’s land, he either had to stick with his man or attack the QB who was headed right for him. With 32 seconds remaining the scoreboard read: Alabama 28, Auburn 28

The Alabama QB had very little time left yet somehow he managed to get his team downfield. When he tossed an outlet pass to his receiver who quickly ran out of bounds, it appeared the clock had run out. Overtime seemed apparent.

Bring on coach Saban and the officials. Nick argued for a replay, and after a long delay the officials decided there was indeed 1 second left (it was the correct call). Coach Saban brought out his little used, but strong legged red-shirt freshman kicker to attempt one last gasp, a 57 yard field goal attempt.

The kick was strong and straight, only just about a yard short. Meanwhile standing under the goal post was the Tiger’s Chris Davis. Just before the snap CBS color commentator Gary Danielson said “this kick can comeback the other way.”

As I watched, along with many millions of others, Davis outran all 11 Alabama players down one sideline, then across the field for a 109 yard game winning, no clock remaining, season extender for one, season ender for another, incredible, unbelievable, amazing touchdown.

Just typing this, reliving it again, gets me fired up.

Simply put it was one of the greatest football games I’ve ever seen. It had it all. National championship implications, two excellent teams, a bitter rivalry, back and forth, big plays, a last minute comeback, and one of the most improbable endings to a game you will ever see. This game will be talked about forever.

*and like the true champ that I am I had the recorder rolling and have this entire fantastic, phenomenal, unbelievable, incredible game on DVD! Just another gem to add to my nice collection of Iron Bowl games on dvd (see list below):

Vintage Iron Bowl games on dvd:
1980 Alabama vs. Auburn
1981 Alabama vs. Auburn (Bear wins #315)
1982 Alabama vs. Auburn (Bo Jackson)
1983 Alabama vs. Auburn (Bo Jackson)
1984 Alabama vs., Auburn (Bo Jackson)
1985 Alabama vs. Auburn (Bo Jackson)
1986 Alabama vs. Auburn
1987 Alabama vs. Auburn (Derrick Thomas)
1989 Alabama at Auburn (1st ever Iron Bowl at Auburn)
1992 Auburn at Alabama
1996 Auburn at Alabama
1997 Alabama at Auburn
1999 Alabama at Auburn
2004 Auburn at Alabama (Cadillac Williams & Ronnie Brown)
2005 Alabama at Auburn
2008 Auburn at Alabama
2010 Auburn at Alabama (Cam Newton)
2011 Alabama at Auburn
2012 Auburn at Alabama
2013 Alabama at Auburn (incredible game)


1 Comment »

  1. I watched the game it was a real good one i just wish it was oregon kicking bamas ass,

    Comment by UNCLE BUCK — December 2, 2013 @ 9:26 am

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