It was a rainy, ugly day in Knoxville, TN on September 30th, 1989. It would be that type of game as well and one that would not have a happy ending for the Tigers. Auburn’s defense struggled to stop anything on the ground. Reggie Cobb did most of the damage rushing for 225 yards on the day and becoming the first player to eclipse 100+ yards against a Pat Dye defense in three seasons.
But there was one bright moment of hope early in the 4th quarter.
After barely avoiding an interception, the Tigers faced 3rd & 10 deep in their own territory. Auburn’s offense had struggle to do much of anything all day when Reggie Slack was finally given time to launch one deep to Alexander Wright. Wright blew by the Vols secondary (with the help of a little push off) and Slack dropped the ball perfectly in the waiting arms of Wright for the 83 yard touchdown. No one was catching Wright after that.
Auburn easily added a 2 point conversion after this touchdown to make it 14-11. However, on the next drive Reggie Slack threw an interception that set the Vols up with great field position. Tennessee would capitalize and take a 21-11 lead. Auburn had a shot late after a FG made it a 7 point game but Slack’s pass to Wright fell incomplete and the Vols escaped with the W.
But the 1989 season ended in success. Auburn did not lose another conference game that year, including beating #2 ranked Alabama in the first ever Iron Bowl in Jordan-Hare, to split the SEC title three ways with the Vols and Tide. If you want to watch this ugly slugfest, check out the video below. I mean, seriously, TWO bad snaps on a punt resulting in safeties....
83 days till kickoff! War Eagle!