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Countdown to Kickoff: 85 days

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A rare look at one of Auburn’s greatest running backs.

I don’t really wanna talk about this game. The 1977 Iron Bowl was in the middle of the worst stretch in Auburn history when it comes to playing Alabama. The Tigers lost 9 straight from 1973-1981 to the Tide. Ironically, you could make the argument that during this time Auburn had one of the greatest backfields in college football history. Joe Cribbs, James Books and William Andrews combined for almost 20,000 rushing yards, over 100 touchdowns and 11 Pro Bowl selections during their NFL careers. Auburn went 39-31 with zero Iron Bowl wins during their collegiate careers....

Unfortunately, there just isn’t a ton of film of these guys running the football in an Auburn jersey so unless you saw them live (I did not) it’s hard for Auburn fans today to really appreciate just how good these guys were. Thankfully, there are some treasures to be found on YouTube including highlights from the 1977 Iron Bowl. The Tigers did not win the game but late in the first quarter, you get to see the kind of talent Joe Cribbs possessed as a runner.

Cribbs had an incredible combination of speed, power, vision and balance. All are on display on this 85 yard touchdown run that gave the Tigers an early 7-0 lead. After a nice hole opens on the left side, Cribbs side steps a would be tackle from the safety and breaks free down the sidelines. He makes a perfect cut at full speed to dodge two Bama defenders then cuts back behind a downfield block to get the edge and find pay dirt. Wish he could have gotten a few carries in Gus Malzhan’s offense...

It wasn’t a pretty result but if you want to at least get a chance to see some AU legends in action check out the video below. No audio and Auburn loses but if you’ve never gotten a chance to see Joe Cribbs or William Andrews run the football, here’s your chance.

85 days till kickoff! War Eagle!