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Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Aftermath: Iron Bowl of the Ages

On Saturday morning my wife and I woke up extra early to attend College Gameday on the campus of Auburn University. I had my Gameday Sign in hand ready to make people laugh no matter who they rooted for.
 We showed up at 6 a.m. and filed into the "pit" ready to hear the predictions and act as crazy as we could. Around 9 o'clock, one of the Event Group Staff took my sign and when asked why they said "We don't like it." Probably Bammers. I made sure I got that sign back though and the order of the day had been restored.
 Of course everyone besides Charles Barkley picked Alabama. We left to eat and had to park almost a mile away to get a parking spot that didn't cost no lower than $60. Filed into the Stadium with plenty of time before the game and as we looked to the nose-bleeds of Jordan-Hare, we couldn't pick out any seat that was not filled. Filled to the brim and ready for what was to become the most remarkable and unforgettable Iron Bowl in history.
 AUHD had a great display of the past and the present. Moments that pumped up every single Orange and Blue fan that was in the range of the sounds and film it played. My wife and I have attended around 6 games this year and this feeling we experienced as we stood there was none like no other.
 From the time of the opening kickoff until the last second of the game, the atmosphere in Jordan-Hare could be heard all over Auburn.

Alabama got the opening kickoff and Auburn would make a stand. This first stand was very special and important. Alabama dropped some passes all night, but the one that allowed Auburn to take advantage of a miscue early made every Tiger fan smile in belief.
 The ensuing drive Marshall missed a wide open receiver that could have easily turned into quick points for the Tigers, but instead they ended up punting. Auburn answered with another stop of their own, but this Auburn would score on a 45 yard TD run from Nick Marshall, this being the first time in nearly 3 years Auburn has lead Alabama.

Going into the second QTR Auburn had a 7 point lead, but not for long. Alabama and AJ McCarron finished of the drive with a 3 yard TD pass to Jalston Fowler. Tied 7-7. Alabama would score twice more on a TD pass to Kevin Norwood and a 1 yard TD run from T.J. Yeldon. Down 21-7 with less than 2 minutes to go in the half, Auburn would use a big Nick Marshall run, in which should have been a TD like it was originally called, to set up a 1 yard TD run from Tre Mason. 21-14 halftime.

Auburn received the ball in the second half and didn't waste any time. using the read option, Auburn moved the ball 69 yards to set up a 13 yard TD pass to C.J. Uzomah to tie the game. The next scoring play would be a devestting one for Auburn.
 With a Steven Clark punt to the Alabama 1 yard line, AJ McCarron ran the same wheel route that had gotten Alabam off the 1 yard line in the previous possession, except this time, Amari Cooper broke one tackle and raced 99 yards to put Alabama back on top 28-21 (the longest pass in Alabama history). The next few drives both resulted in Turnover on Downs for both teams and after an Auburn punt and Alabama missed field goal, Auburn was at it again.
 With 2 minutes to go in the game, Auburn had hope. Needing to move the ball 65 yards, Auburn came out rushing the ball. Tre Mason received the ball on 6 straight plays and a key third down to set up what happened next. Tigers ran the read option, Marshall kept it, got to the line of scrimmage, and as the corner bought it, he floated it over his head to a wide open Sammie Coates, who raced 39 yards to tie the game at 28 a piece with 28 seconds left in the game.

We had witnessed what happened in Jordan-Hare just a few weeks ago with Ricardo Louis and "The Prayer at Jordan-Hare", but could another miracle happen against the #1 and biggest rival of the schools history?

As my wife and I stood there watching Alabama move the ball to the 39 yard line of Auburn, the clock hit 0:00. Nick Saban proclaimed that there was a second left. A second to get the field goal unit on the field. With cade Foster missing 2 and having a field goal blocked, he went with the freshman Adam Griffith. With 1 second left, Adams kick fell short. What happened next is probably the play of the century by far. Certainly the greatest ever Iron Bowl moment to ever take place. Chris Davis fielded the missed field goal and headed up the sideline after he got by a few defenders. With a wall in front of him and the clock at 0:00 he sprinted 109 yards to beat the #1 Crimson Tide and seal their destiny in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.

Rod Bramblett ( said the fans wouldn't be kept off the field and he was right. I jumped and gave every Auburn fan sitting around me a hug (we were sitting in the Bama Section) in utter disbelief of what just happened, I saw the student section hit the field and off I was to celebrate the winning of the 2013 Iron Bowl in dramatic fashion. While on the field, I congratulated players and fans alike and in the midst of all the crowd I saw Jay Jacobs, Auburn's Athletic director and he looked at me and asked " Are you ready for Atlanta?"
 Still in disbelief and shock we sang our songs and smiled from ear to ear as I made my way off the field to see what it all looked like... pandemonium.

Auburn finished with 393 yards and 296 on the ground. The most Alabama had previously allowed was 165 against Arkansas and 164 against Texas A & M. Mason accounted for 164 and a TD, as Marshall rushed for 99 yards and a TD as well. Marshall also threw for 2 TDs and 97 yards on 11-16 passing. Sammie Coates and C.J. Uzomah had 2 catches a piece and also score a TD a piece with a total of 82 yards. Ricardo Louis, who had been the hero in Auburn's game against Georgia, was ineffective. Chris Davis had the play of the game and got the face time afterwards with these statements:

"We're a team of destiny. We won't take no for an answer."
"I knew when I caught the ball I would have room to run." and "when I looked back I said 'I can't believe this'."

And run he did into the history books and the Auburn Tigers hearts all around the world.

So to answer your question. Yes, another miracle could and did happen on the Plains two games in a row. And yes, Auburn has restored balance in the College Football world. With two TDs in the last 39 seconds, Auburn has changed history? No. Fulfilling destiny.

Be sure to follow me @austin_preiss19 on Twitter for more Auburn Sports and pictures and videos for this weekends game. WAR EAGLE! Atlanta, "We Comin'."
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