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24 Days Until Kickoff

Fans outside the stadium, the official Jordan-Hare time is...

How he held it I don’t know!

Yesterday we touched on the crap-fest that was 1992. Not many wins, a rival taking a national championship (sadly not the last time on this countdown that we’ll encounter that), and a weird number that didn’t have much to do with any Auburn wins.

That changes today.

As for famous games in Auburn history that ended in a Tiger win while scoring 24 points, we start in 2013

2013 - Auburn 24, Mississippi State 20

Do you remember the point when you first felt that Gus Malzahn’s inaugural team might be special? I do. Sitting in the studio for the Auburn radio broadcast, this was a frustrating game because it seemed like Auburn only did well when it broke big busted plays, while the Bulldogs were on the verge of running away with it if only they’d stuck with Dak Prescott’s legs. Dak ran for better than 130 yards in that game, but he was the only guy doing anything for Mississippi State.

Nick Marshall, meanwhile, had his coming out party throwing for over 300 yards and even completing a pass to himself (sidenote: that’s the pop pass play that Auburn tied the Iron Bowl on). He then hit CJ Uzomah in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with just seconds remaining in the game. It wasn’t the Auburn offense we’d come to know that year, but it still worked enough to get Auburn to 3-0.

2010 - Auburn 24, LSU 17

This remains one of the most impressive performances from an Auburn team that I’ve ever seen. It was good enough that it boosted Auburn to the top spot in the polls after the Tigers beat LSU in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The numbers are still crazy. Auburn gained 526 yards on the day against the #6 team in the country. Only 86 of them came through the air.

440 rushing yards against a team that finished the year 11-2 with a win over the defending national champion.

It was all headlined by a Heisman Trophy run.

Just listen to Gary Danielson go nuts.

Still, the game was in doubt late as LSU executed a halfback pass for a score to Reuben Randle, and it took Onterio McCalebb outracing Patrick Peterson to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to provide the difference.

Auburn vaulted to #1 in the rankings just in time to head to Ole Miss for a Halloween weekend game.

2006 - Auburn 24, South Carolina 17

In one of the few Thursday night games that Auburn’s played in recent memory, the Tigers bused over the Columbia for a meeting with Steve Spurrier. Auburn was 4-0 and the toughest part of their schedule seemed to be over. They’d beaten LSU (although they’d taken their lumps doing it) and nobody had foreseen the rise of Arkansas and Florida that were coming up next.

Nobody remembers this game for anything other than the third quarter. Leading 14-10 at halftime, Auburn took the second half kickoff and went 86 yards in 17 plays, taking more than eight minutes out of the third quarter. They kicked a field goal to take a touchdown lead, and promptly executed a perfect onside kick to get the ball back.

As the third quarter ended, Auburn still had the ball on only the second possession of the half, sitting on the Gamecock one-yard line. On the opening play of the fourth quarter, on fourth and goal, Kenny Irons bulled across the line to give Auburn a 24-10 lead.

South Carolina would make it much more interesting than it needed to be, as they made the most of their limited possessions and cut the lead in half before stalling inside the Auburn ten in the final seconds going for the game-tying score.

2004 - Auburn 24, Georgia 6

Ranked third behind USC and Oklahoma all year, Auburn had this game against a top ten Georgia team to try and sway the minds of the voters.

It worked, momentarily. Auburn broke out a 24-0 lead that was only ruined once the Bulldogs scored with barely two minutes left in the game to break the shutout.

Cadillac threw a touchdown, Junior Rosegreen rocked Reggie Brown (I seriously thought he was dead) on a hit that would’ve drawn a suspension nowadays, and the Auburn defense suffocated Georgia all afternoon.

The 24-6 win was convincing enough to push Auburn into a tie with Oklahoma at #2 in the polls, but the tepid Iron Bowl win a week later dropped Auburn back to third and sealed their fate as far as anyone else was concerned.

2001 - Auburn 24, Georgia 17

Auburn got the best of Mark Richt in his first season in Athens, thanks to a heroic 41-carry performance from a freshman named Cadillac, and the rather daft decision at the end of the game. Watch for yourself.

Couple things...

  1. Look how young Mark Richt looks.
  2. It’s amazing how far television has come. This may as well be a game from the 1980s.
  3. Tuberville set the style standard with the sweater vest. Must’ve been a warm November night in Athens, though. Nobody’s really dressed warmly.
  4. What an unbelievable play call by a rookie coach. You have no timeouts, and you run into a goal line defense, then just stand around. Richt is a great coach, but man that was bad.

Auburn enjoyed victory here for the last time in 2001, as they’d get rocked by Alabama and LSU (in the 9/11-delayed game) before losing to North Carolina in the Peach Bowl to finish 7-5.

24 Years Ago - 1993

If you read our Countdown to Kickoff article yesterday talking about 1992, you got to relive the fun of losing your Hall of Fame coach, getting a visit from the NCAA, and watching your rival win a national championship. So cool.

Time to win your money back today, folks. 24 years ago was Auburn’s undefeated 1993 season, the start of a 20-game winning streak, and some of the most memorable (if unseen at the time) plays in Auburn history.

How’d it begin?

With this guy.

Look at the size of that headset.

Terry Bowden had coached at Samford up in Birmingham for the previous six seasons, reaching a 1-AA semifinal in 1991, and obviously had the coaching blood with his father, Bobby Bowden, dominating at Florida State for so long.

He took the job at Auburn amid an investigation by the NCAA, which resulted in a TV ban for 1993 and a postseason ban that would last through 1994. Tough job to take over, but Bowden did a fantastic job.

With Dye’s players, Bowden worked his way through a down SEC, starting out 6-0 without facing a team with a winning record (not including his old school, Samford). Along the way there were a couple of difficult tasks, such as the goal line stand at Vanderbilt, where Auburn rebuffed the Commodores to preserve a 14-10 victory.

Still, undefeated at 6-0, the Tigers had sidled into the Top 25 at #19. Good start to the season, overall, but Florida was headed to the Plains for a mid-October matchup. Things would certainly come crashing down and Auburn would finally hit the skids. Good job, good effort, everyone.

The Gators were averaging better than 40 points per game and started things off on the right foot against the Tigers. Danny Wuerffel had already gotten Florida a 10-0 lead and was heading for more when momentum completely shifted in the Tigers’ direction.

Auburn clawed out a 38-35 win thanks to a Scott Etheridge field goal late as they improved to 7-0 on the year with only one real test left ahead of them. Easy wins over Arkansas, New Mexico State, and Georgia put Auburn at 10-0 with Alabama coming to Jordan-Hare Stadium for just the second time ever.

Like the Florida game, Alabama jumped on top early. The Tide used big plays to open up a 14-5 (thanks to a safety for Auburn) lead at halftime, and when Stan White went down to a knee injury on a third down in the third quarter, it looked bleak for Auburn.

It just looked bleak.

When it’s all said and done, that might be a top five Auburn play in history.

Auburn took a lead 15-14 shortly thereafter, and then James Bostic put the stamp on it with his 70-yard blast through the heart of the Bama defense. The Tigers held strong and collected a 22-14 victory over the defending national champions to finish the season 11-0.

When it was all said and done, Auburn finished 4th in the AP Poll, receiving four first-place votes. Terry’s Diddy ended up winning his first national championship as the Seminoles escaped Nebraska and somehow finished ahead of the Notre Dame team that beat them earlier in the year. For Auburn, it would be a year that nobody saw on television, but one that would stay burned into the hearts of fans everywhere.

Up Next: 23 Days Until Kickoff