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Countdown to Kickoff: 109 Days

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Let’s kick this countdown off in style.

Alabama v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s countdown season people. That time of year when every single day someone on social media let’s everyone know we are “Nick Fairley days away from kickoff”. Well I plan on taking that simple idea to the extreme this offseason. Instead of jersey numbers, we will look at a single play (or drive if I couldn’t find a play for that distance) to celebrate being a day closer to Auburn football.

The official countdown will start in nine days but I couldn’t let this day pass by. If you recall there was a sorta, kinda major play in AU history that covered 109 yards....


No doubt that is not only one of the greatest plays in college football history but it’s probably also one of the best calls ever as well.

If you haven’t already, go read AuburnUndercover’s oral history of the Kick 6 where they spoke with a number of players and coaches about that game and play. Funny enough, it was Ellis Johnson that came up with the idea to have someone back to return the kick in case it fell short.

Johnson: “That’s one of the few times I like to brag or beat my chest. It was my idea to put someone back there to return the missed field goal. I said we’ve got to put somebody back there to return it. We have nothing to lose because there’s no time left on the clock. The worst thing that happens is he fumbles and they run it the other way — but they’re going to have people on the field who can’t cover. Let’s put somebody back there deep in the end zone.”

However, initially it was Ryan Smith that went back to return the kick. Gus Malzahn called timeout and told Chris Davis to go back instead as he was Auburn’s regular punt returner.

Johnson: “We let him get lined up out there and Gus called timeout to ice (the kicker). That’s when he said we need to get Chris Davis back there, our regular return guy. Well, heck, of course he should be back there. Who put Ryan back there? Well, he’s the normal safety. Well, put him back up front near the line and put Chris back there. And that was the only thing we changed (during the timeout).”

Smart move Gus.

I get special pleasure listening to Eli Gold briefly believe that Tiffin will make the kick only for him to have nothing really to say moments later.

No Eli, it did in fact not have the leg.

I still vividly remember my dad and I jumping up and down like maniacs in my parent’s living room while my mom ran in asking what exactly just happened. I’m not sure our response was in English but she got the gist that Auburn had in fact won the game and joined in the celebration. Auburn football can be frustrating at times and produce some irritating lows but man I’m not sure another school gets the highs like we do.

Here’s the full CBS broadcast of the final minutes of the game. Only 109 days until Auburn football returns...

War Eagle!