On Saturday, the University of Alabama football team travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium to take on Auburn University in the 88th iteration of the Iron Bowl.
From shootouts to blowouts, the heated rivalry has regularly delivered entertaining games, no matter the teams' records coming into the game.
Alabama leads the all-time series 49–37–1 (.569) and is on a three-game winning streak.
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"Wrong Way Bo"
Trailing 17–15 late in the 1984 Iron Bowl, Auburn had 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line. Instead of kicking to go ahead by one, Auburn called a pitch to running back Brent Fullwood. Star running back Bo Jackson, who was supposed to block for Fullwood, ran the wrong direction, and the Alabama defense was able to get Fullwood out of bounds short of the goal line to seal the victory.
Too Many Men on the Field
In a classic back-and-forth, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn outsmarted Alabama's Nick Saban late in the game. With just over a minute remaining in the 48-45 game, Auburn lined up in a formation with the punter out wide and quarterback Bo Nix still in, which confused the defense and led to an Alabama penalty for having too many players on the field. The five-yard penalty gave Auburn a first down and allowed the Tigers to run out the clock. The 2019 loss knocked Alabama out of playoff contention for the first time since the creation of the four-team College Football Playoff format in 2014.
"Bo Over the Top"
In 1982, Auburn freshman running back sensation Bo Jackson, an elite high jumper, leaped over the line of scrimmage on a fourth-down play from the one-yard line to score the go-ahead touchdown with 2:26 minutes left in the game. Alabama was unable to score in the remaining time, and Auburn finally broke a nine-year losing streak, winning 23-22.
In 1997, Alabama fullback Ed Scissum fumbled on a screen pass that would have given the Crimson Tide a game-sealing first down. Auburn kicker Jaret Holmes then kicked a 39-yard field goal to give the Tigers an 18-17 lead. Alabama attempted a 57-yard field goal, which fell short and gave Auburn the SEC Western Division title.
"Punt Bama Punt"
Down 16–3 late in the 1972 Iron Bowl, Auburn blocked two punts and returned both for touchdowns, leading to an improbable 17–16 Auburn win. The loss prevented Alabama from playing for the national championship. In 2010, the game was ranked as one of the most painful outcomes in college football history. In 2007, it was ranked one of the 100 defining moments of college football and one of the 100 greatest finishes.
Late Alabama score leads to Saban's first of many national championships for Tide
Trailing most of the game, Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy found Roy Upchurch in the end zone for a four-yard go-ahead touchdown with 1:24 left. The Tide held on to win the 2009 Iron Bowl 26-21 to preserve the undefeated season. Alabama went on to win the SEC Championship and its first of six national championships so far under head coach Nick Saban.
In 1985, Alabama kicker Van Tiffin erased a 23–22 deficit on a 52-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Tide a 25-23 victory. The game saw the lead change hands four times in the fourth quarter.
Bama escapes 4-OT thriller
Down 10-3 with 1:43 remaining in the 2021 Iron Bowl, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young drove the Crimson Tide 97 yards for a game-tying touchdown to force the first overtime game in Iron Bowl history. Alabama went on to win 24-22 after the fourth overtime.
Trailing 24-0 with a national championship appearance in sight, Auburn's Cam Newton led the Tigers to the biggest comeback in Iron Bowl history in 2010. Auburn eventually came out victorious 28-27. What happened after the game might have become a bigger story than the game itself. Alabama fan Harvey Updyke called into Paul Finebaum's show and revealed he poisoned Toomer's Oaks because Auburn fans had put Newton's jersey on the Bear Bryant statue.
"The Kick Six"
Alabama fans have likely become numb to the "Kick Six" at this point, but it remains the greatest ever finish to a college football game. During the 2013 matchup, one second was put back on the clock at the end of a tied game. Rather than going to overtime, Alabama head coach Nick Saban elected to try a 57-yard game-winning field goal. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn put his punt returner Chris Davis in the end zone in case the kick fell short. The kick did fall short, and Davis returned it back for a touchdown. The 2013 Iron Bowl won the ESPY Award for "Best Game" of the year in any sport, and the final play won the ESPY Award for "Best Play" of the year.
The 2008 Iron Bowl was Alabama's first-ever Iron Bowl win in Tuscaloosa. The 36-0 shellacking not only stopped Auburn's six-game winning streak over the Tide, but it also kickstarted the Alabama turnaround.
The 1993 Iron Bowl was not televised due to Auburn's probation. It was aired on closed-circuit television before 47,421 fans at Bryant–Denny Stadium. It's considered by many as the forgotten Iron Bowl. Backup quarterback Patrick Nix came in the game for an injured Stan White and led a comeback that sealed the Tigers’ undefeated season with a 22–14 finish.
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