Photo Credit: WarBlogle.com
On the eve of Saturday, November 30th, 2013, the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide took on the #4 Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, in the 78th Iron Bowl. Auburn had just come off of a miraculous home victory as the #7 team in the country against the #25 Georgia Bulldogs when quarterback Nick Marshall, down 38-37 with one timeout left, threw a hail mary pass that was tipped by two Georgia defenders on 4th & 18 with 36 seconds left in the game and ended up in the hands of wide receiver Ricardo Louis for a 77-yard touchdown to give Auburn a 43-38 lead, which they held onto to win the game.
The winner of the game would clinch a berth in the SEC championship game against either the Missouri Tigers or the South Carolina Gamecocks (it ended up being Missouri). The Crimson Tide was unbeaten in conference play, while the Tigers had dropped a road game against the Louisiana State Tigers earlier that season before going on a 7-game conference winning streak.
The scoring began in the first quarter with a 45-yard touchdown run by Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Alabama followed that up with three touchdowns of their own in the second quarter, including two passing touchdowns from quarterback AJ McCarron to running back Jalston Fowler, a 3-yard touchdown, and wide receiver Kevin Norwood, a 20-yard touchdown, respectively, and a rushing touchdown by running back TJ Yeldon to take a 21-7 lead late in the first half. Auburn was able to score a touchdown before the end of the half on a 1-yard rushing touchdown by running back Tre Mason to bring the Tigers to within seven points and trail by a score of 21-14 at halftime.
At the time, head coach Nick Saban’s Alabama teams were 73-3 all-time when leading at halftime. That lead, however, did not last long, as Auburn drove down the field before Nick Marshall connected with wide receiver CJ Uzomah for a 13-yard touchdown to tie the game at 21. The third quarter ended with the score 21-21.
Alabama struck first in the fourth quarter with a 99-yard touchdown pass from AJ McCarron to wide receiver Amari Cooper to make the score 28-21, which appeared to suck away all of the momentum Auburn had built since coming back from trailing by 14 points. With just 32 seconds to play in the game, however, Nick Marshall connected with wide receiver Sammie Coates for a 39-yard touchdown to tie the game at 28.
Alabama drove down the field and got to the Auburn 39-yard line before Alabama running back TJ Yeldon was shoved out of bound by Auburn cornerback Chris Davis as time expired and it looked as though the game was headed into overtime. However, Nick Saban argued that there was still one second left on the game clock when Yeldon’s right foot hit the ground out of bounds. The officials reviewed the play and concluded that there was indeed one more second left on the game clock.
Throughout the course of the game, Alabama kicker Cade Foster missed all three of his field goal attempts. He missed a 44-yard attempt, a 33-yard attempt, and had a 44-yard attempt blocked. Because of this, Nick Saban decided to trot out redshirt freshman kicker Adam Griffith to attempt the potential game-winning field goal from 56 yards away.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn decided to ice Griffith by calling a timeout. During this time, the kick was officially ruled as a 57-yard attempt. Cornerback Chris Davis was sent to the back of the end zone in case this long field goal attempt ended up being short.
The ball was snapped, and Griffith’s kick looked good before it went slightly to the right and fell into the arms of Chris Davis about nine yards deep in the end zone. Davis returned the kick and ran down the Auburn sideline, picking up blocks along the way, all the way to the Alabama end zone for the game-winning touchdown as the Tigers pulled off the 34-28 upset as the clock hit triple zeroes.
“For Auburn, 2013 will always be remembered as the season every Auburn fan dreamed but never believed…has happened,” said SEC on CBS announcer Gary Danielson after the miraculous finish that earned Auburn a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, to play in the SEC championship game.
You can watch all of the action of the “Kick Six” unfold in the video below.
(Video Credit: SEC on CBS)
The Tigers clinched a berth in the SEC championship because of this as the #3 team in the country and ended up knocking off the #5 Missouri Tigers by a score of 59-42 before being selected to play in the BCS National Championship game as the #2 team in the country against the #1 and unbeaten Florida State Seminoles, who beat them to end their miraculous season by a score of 34-31.
Despite Auburn not being able to win the national championship game, this play and this game will forever go down among the greatest in not only Iron Bowl history, but in college football history.