2009 will always be one of my favorite seasons. “The Rain Game” will always be one of my favorite moments as an Auburn student.
The Mountaineers came to town sporting a 2-0 record after winning two high scoring games against East Carolina and Liberty. Auburn, on the other hand, had come out the gate with two even more explosive offensive performances vs Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State. Both teams would provide plenty of fireworks that Saturday night.
But before either team could start pouring points on the board, it started pouring rain at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Lightning in the area forced the start of the game to be delayed and a torrential downpour hit the Plains. The stadium announcer ordered everyone to evacuate to the lower levels which most everyone did with haste. Well, everyone but the student section who instead responded by doing this:
Somewhere in that mess is me with my friends getting absolutely drenched but having the time of our lives. I remember getting a text from my dad simply stating “Protect the phone!” when he heard on the radio that the student section had not obeyed the command to leave. My buddy and I ran to the bathroom, wrapped our phones in paper towels and then rejoined the rain party.
Shoutout to the sound man that day. He quickly picked up on what was happening and fueled the insanity with a wonderful playlist of AU student favorites and rain themed jams.
After almost 4 inches of rain, the clouds parted and the teams returned to the field. When they did, they were met by a wall of sound fueled by whatever madness had taken hold the student section during the hour delay.
Noel Devine then promptly shut us all up.
West Virginia came out the gates hot putting together a 5 play 60 yard touchdown drive on their opening possession and then following that up with a 71 yard Devine TD run. After sitting through that hurricane, you can imagine that there were not a lot of happy campers in the stands at that point.
But a field goal stopped the bleeding and then in what would become a theme of the night, West Virginia turned the ball over. Auburn turned that into 7 points and all of a sudden we had a game.
Both teams went back and forth. There were turnovers, touchdowns and failed 4th downs. But with just under 4 minutes to play and Auburn up 34-30, the final big blow would land.
Craig Stevens’s return gave Auburn a two score cushion that would hold. The Tigers escaped with a 41-30 victory and sent a soaking wet fanbase home happy that night.
In the end, the two teams combined for 900+ yards of offense, 600+ passing yards, 71 total points and seven turnovers (six by West Virginia). It seems the pre game weather was just a warning of what was to come that night.