The Kick Six, Auburn’s Iron Bowl miracle vs. Alabama, deserves a deep rewind


– [Narrator] It’s November 30th, 2013. We’re in Auburn, Alabama
for the 78th Iron Bowl. The number four Tigers have drawn even with the number one Crimson Tide at 28, and with just one second
left Nick Saban has sent out his kicking team for a 57 yard field goal, hoping to either break the tie, or move on to overtime. Whoever wins here tonight will move on to the SEC Championship, and likely play for the National Title. This snap is set to dictate much of the college football season. And you likely remember what comes next, but for everything that made it special and truly matter, let’s rewind. It goes without saying that
these schools hate each other, but that hate has led to
some incredible performances, and fueled some even more
incredible comebacks. The first time the game came
here to Jordan-Hare Stadium was in 1989 when Auburn pulled off a 30-20 upset that ended Alabama’s
national title hopes, and possibly even worse
made them share the SEC Championship with Tennessee. In ’84 a missed block by Bo Jackson on fourth and goal capped
off Alabama’s victory over the number 11 Tigers. In 1972 Alabama came in as
a two touchdown favorite, but Auburn blocked two punts in the final five and a half, returning both
for scores to win 17 to 16. Legendary coach Bear
Bryant even admitted that nothing matters more than
beating that cow college on the other side of the state. Recently that statement
has held even more weight considering the winner of
the last four Iron Bowls has gone on to be crowned National Champ. But for Auburn after “The Camback” in 2010, the Tigers hadn’t shown up
in back to back match ups. In 2011 they put up 14 points, all of which came from defensive scores, before getting shut out a season later. So in the first quarter of tonight’s game when Auburn QB Nick Marshall took off for a 45 yard touchdown to open the scoring, it marked more than just
the first offensive points scored by the Tigers in three years, it also represented hope
that this rivalry could be competitive again. And. Well. Yeah – [Will] But it hadn’t
been expected that Auburn would make it this close this quick. After Cam Newton made Gene
Chizik look competent in 2010, Auburn struggled to
replicate that success. Their title defense came
up well short as they alternated wins and
losses from October on. Offensive coordinator
Gus Malzahn left to coach Arkansas State, and with
him went the Tigers offense. They tumbled from best
in the nation with Cam, to outside the top 100 in total offense, in a season where they
finished with just three wins. They were winless in SEC play, and once Chizik got the boot, the Gus Bus pulled back into the station, and with it, the hope for anything that resembled an offense. While a turnaround was expected, it wasn’t forecasted to happen
in Malzahn’s first year back. The Tigers entered the season unranked, and needed some late magic from Marshall, just to sneak past Mississippi State. After a loss in Baton Rouge, Auburn strung together a couple wins, and a shootout victory over Johnny Manziel in College Station, hurled
Auburn up the ranks. But two weeks before the Iron Bowl it looked like their ride was over. Down one late to Georgia they
were facing fourth and 18, when this happened. – [Announcer] Let’s it go. Oh my gosh. Oh my goodness. Oh no. – [Will] The Prayer at Jordan-Hare
moved Auburn up to number four in the nation for
their showdown with Alabama, making it the highest
ranked Iron Bowl ever, and just the second time both
teams were in the top five. And unlike other times Bama has faced a fellow top five team, at 28 all, the Tide have let
this one get competitive. While Auburn’s turnaround surprised some, Alabama had dominated it’s schedule, pretty much as expected. They were coming off back-to-back National Championships. The most recent being their complete annihilation of Notre Dame, and were projected to take
home a third straight. They came into the
season ranked number one, and hadn’t left that spot since. The toughest test for the Tide, came in their second game of the year at sixth ranked Texas A&M. But even that wasn’t as close as the final score indicates. Since then they beat opponents
by an average of 43 points, so Vegas was being polite, to give this just a ten point spread. With AJ McCarron, Amari
Cooper, and TJ Yeldon, most believed their offense
would be too much for Auburn to handle. The only person reckless
enough to not pick Bama was Sir Charles Barkley. – [Charles] But Nick Marshall
is gonna come up big, and first of all it’s
not gonna be an upset. – [Kirk] Okay. – [Will] Once Alabama’s
offense woke up in the second quarter it looked
like Chuck was right, at least about there not being an upset. McCarron hit Jalston Fowler
for their first score, then connected with Kevin
Norwood for a 20 yard touchdown, after a Tre Mason fumble
gave them a short field. Following an Auburn
punt, Yeldon barreled in to make it 21 unanswered for Alabama. And even though they
haven’t held onto that lead, they’re still in position
to win it right here. But from 57 yards out,
this kick is essentially a different type of Hail Mary. That left even Verne and Gary confused. – [Gary] They’re gonna try a field goal? – [Will] 60 minutes ago, it would have made a little more sense. Alabama’s kicker senior Cade Foster came into this game on a roll. He hadn’t missed a field goal attempt since his first try of the season, and had even drilled a 53
yarder against Ole Miss, but tonight that went out the window. In the first quarter he sent
a 44 yard kick wide left. A chance at redemption wouldn’t come until the start of the fourth which he knocked through from 28 yards out, but a false start penalty forced a re-kick from 33 which he badly
missed, again to the left. Nine minutes later, Saban
avoided his struggling kicker, going for it on fourth down instead of attempting a 30 yard field goal, that would put them up 10. A gamble that didn’t work out. Foster would later get
a chance to put Bama up double digits late, but – [Verne] Cade Foster kicks
it. It’s gonna be wide left. It’s blocked. It’s blocked. – [Will] It just wouldn’t be his night. By the time Alabama was looking
at a 57 yarder to win it, Foster had lost his
chance to play the hero. He was replaced by a freshman kicker, who even Verne didn’t know. – [Verne] It’s Adrian Griffin. – [Will] It’s actually Adam Griffith, who had only attempted
two kicks all season, making one from 20 and
missing the other from 30. Whether Saban had seen enough of Foster, or didn’t want to further shake the senior in case he was needed in overtime, Griffith lined up with one
second left looking to end it. But wait, who’s this little guy down here? So that’s senior cornerback Chris Davis. He’s a real long way from the ball, but a moment earlier he
wasn’t even on the field. Auburn originally sent
fellow DB Ryan Smith to the end zone in case
the kick came up short, but realizing they had
someone a little better at returns, called a
timeout to make the switch. Davis, one of just a handful of players remaining from the Tigers
2010 National Championship, was leading the nation
in punt return average. Against Tennessee, even after a muff, he took one to the house,
which sparked an Auburn rout. And afterwards let the media know he didn’t need much to
do something special. – [Chris] I seen that
I had a little space. All I need is a little crease and I can do something with the ball like that. – [Will] On top of those
duties, he entered tonight as Auburn’s leading tackler, but while he added
another 10 to his total, back in the fourth Auburn
probably wished their top defensive back had
been closer to the action on one play in particular. With Alabama in the shadow of
their goalpost following an Auburn punt, Davis was up at the
line playing the contain on an expected rush attempt. But coming off the play action McCarron unloaded one deep to the
opposite side of the field. Amari Cooper just had to shake off one would be tackler, while
the trailing corner could only watch as Alabama
took a seven point lead. And when Auburn got the ball back, still trailing 28-21 with two
and a half minutes remaining, it felt like Bama’s defense would hang on. The Tigers last four drives
had ended with three punts and a turnover on downs, as the Tide had clamped down
on their use of the option. It felt like only a matter of time, considering they were facing a quarterback who began his career as a three-star defensive back at Georgia, and was still just in his first season leading the Auburn offense. But as he’d been asked to
do throughout the season, Marshall once again
looked to bail Auburn out with under a minute to play. After handing it off to Tre
Mason for six straight rushes, Marshall kept the ball himself. As the defender bit,
he found Sammie Coates with nothing but space around him. And now both sides hoped for
a different sort of miracle. The fact that there’s still one second on the clock is a pretty
good start for Alabama. Starting from their own
29, with just 25 seconds remaining, the idea of
getting close enough, even for a Hail Mary pass took a hit when McCarron had to
dance around the pocket before getting rid of
the ball which quickly killed nine seconds. Alabama then seemed content
to head to overtime, but on second down Yeldon gained enough that Saban called one of
their two remaining time outs. With seven seconds left the
booth expected an end zone shot. – [Verne] Here comes Alabama’s Hail Mary. – [Will] But instead
they ran the same draw, which Yeldon took towards
the Alabama sideline. He was met by Chris Davis,
who not only forced him out, but unintentionally became an obstacle for Yeldon that kept him from
actually reaching the sideline, until after the clock hit zero. As CBS decided it was going to overtime, officials gathered and
took a look at the play. Following the review they put one second back on the clock, which
brings us back to here. – [Gary] They’re gonna try a field goal? – [Will] And from past to future,
there’s a lot on the line. We’ve watched two bitter rivals
trade scores all night long, with the winner moving
on to the SEC Championship, and possibly a chance at the
National Title from there. Alabama’s kickers would probably rather throw out the game tape from tonight, but now they’re being
asked to win it here. Auburn is looking to cap
off a turnaround season that few expected to happen
in Malzahn’s first year. And their senior corner waits, hoping to guide the tigers
back to the title game. After 60 minutes it comes down to this. Welcome to a moment in history. – [Announcer] It’s got, no. It does not have the leg. And Chris Davis takes it in
the back of the end zone. He’ll run it out to the 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 35, 40, 45, 50, 45 there goes Davis. – [Other Announcer] Oh my god! – [Announcer] Davis is gonna
run it all the way back. Auburn is gonna win the football game. Auburn is gonna win the football game. – [Will] Oh hey. You’re still here. So you probably enjoy when
bad things happen to Bama, in which case you’ll
like our if/then about what would have happened
if Tebow committed there instead of Florida,
or here’s another college football rewinder. Subscribe to SB Nation
and we’ll see you soon.

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