The Countdown to Kickoff continues with one of the finest games in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Yesterday marked nine Saturdays until kickoff, and so today we hit 62 days with a 62-yard completion from Brandon Cox to Devin Aromashodu in the tense Athens night.
Auburn followed up the undefeated 2004 season with a pretty solid encore, despite the hiccup in the opener against Georgia Tech (where we didn’t really know about Kenny Irons yet), and a similar misstep in Baton Rouge (where the voodoo was just too strong for John Vaughn). The Tigers were 7-2 heading into Athens for TDSOR, with the closest of those seven wins coming in a 34-17 win over Arkansas in Fayetteville. When the Tigers were on, they were really on.
Georgia, meanwhile, started the season 7-0 behind D.J. Shockley at quarterback, and were ranked as high as 4th in the country before to losing to Florida (again). After a bye to get ready for Auburn, they welcomed the Tigers to what ended up being a fantastic game at Sanford Stadium.
Auburn scored first on a 30-yard touchdown run from Irons, but the Dawgs answered with ten straight points before Irons’ second score gave the Tigers a 14-10 lead midway through the second quarter. To begin the second half, Auburn still led 14-13, and from there the lead see-sawed back and forth until Georgia sat pretty, up 30-28 after a Brandon Coutu field goal with less than four minutes to play.
On the potential game-winning drive, the Tigers earned a first down to set up at their own 35, but two incomplete passes and an Irons run for no gain saw Auburn end up with 4th and 10 with just a couple minutes left to play. Auburn only needed to get into field goal range, but they ended up with much more.
Brandon Cox’s 62-yard pass to Devin Aromashodu ended up giving the Tigers a first and goal at the three-yard line since you can’t fumble forward on fourth down. With the ball going into the end zone and being recovered by Auburn, it was ruled that the ball would be placed at the spot of the fumble for a first down. Three runs by Kenny Irons melted the clock to just eight seconds, and John Vaughn would get a little redemption for his awful night in Baton Rouge with the 20-yard field goal to give Auburn a 31-30 victory.