The Auburn Tigers opened the 1970 season unranked. After bottoming out in 1966 with a 4-6 record, Coach Shug Jordan had the Tigers steadily improving each season. The Tigers posted a 6-4 record in 1967, went 7-4 in 1968 and improved to 8-3 in 1969, so the Tigers were on the right path. That path would continue to take Auburn to greater heights in 1970 thanks in large part to the eventual 1971 Heisman trophy winner Pat Sullivan and his favorite target Terry Beasley.
After starting the year with a 33-14 win over Southern Miss, Auburn traveled to Legion Field to take on the #17 ranked Tennessee Volunteers. This was not a pretty game but it was an entertaining one. Both teams seemed allergic to holding onto the football and leads.
Auburn started the festivities by fumbling on the very first play of the game. The Vols capitalized a few plays later (helped out by a questionable pass interference call) to take an early 7-0 lead. The Vols tacked on a field goal on their 2nd drive, extending their lead to 10-0 in the 1st quarter.
Auburn fumbled for a 2nd time on their 3rd drive of the game, but three plays later Tennessee gave it right back on an interception. Pat Sullivan made em pay.
Talk about arm strength and timing, Sullivan puts just enough juice on this ball to get it over the head of one Vol defender and just past another diving to knock it down. From there, no one was catching Beasley.
The Tigers would go on to win 36-23 but tried hard to blow a 29-10 lead. Oh and there were THIRTEEN turnovers or at least I think there were. Good chance I lost track at some point.... One of those turnovers though was a pick 6 for the Tigers and I couldn’t help but include it in this article as well. Consider it a late night treat.
Auburn would go on to finish the season 9-2 including a win over Ole Miss in the Gator Bowl. The following season Sullivan would lead the Tigers a 9-2 record and capture the school’s first of eventual 3 Heisman trophies. Sullivan still holds the Auburn career passing touchdown record at 53 and is 4th all time in passing yards. Terry Beasley is Auburn’s career receiving yards and receiving touchdowns leader along with being 3rd all time in receptions. Very few duos have been better than Sullivan to Beasley in Auburn football history.
Shoutout to the awesome Jeremy Henderson of The War Eagle Reader for the video. You should check out his article on this game.
72 days till kickoff! War Eagle!