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Countdown to Kickoff: 8 Days

One of the many spectacular endings to those 1980s Iron Bowls. -


But alas, eight days still means we must wait a little longer before our beloved Tigers take the field for the first time in 2018. So we march on with our countdown and I got a feeling you will enjoy today’s play....

Auburn ALMOST had four straight SEC titles in the late 80s. A year before they went on their terrific run in ‘87, ‘88 and ’89, the Tigers opened the 1986 campaign with 7 straight wins. But two heartbreaking losses to Florida and Georgia by a combined five points kept the Tigers from claiming the SEC crown. But their was still the Iron Bowl to play and after the previous season’s heartbreaking loss, the Tigers were looking for revenge.

The Alabama Crimson Tide entered the 1986 Iron Bowl ranked #7 in the country. Like the Tigers, the Tide had opened the season strong only to stumble down the stretch. But both squads were still ranked in the top 15 and were looking to finish the regular season strong.

Like many of those Iron Bowls in the 80s, it was a back and forth contest that ended with fireworks.

The Tide got on the board first after Bobby Humphrey powered his way through the Tigers defense picking up 77 of the 82 yards on the scoring drive. Auburn responded with a touchdown of their own from stud tailback Brent Fullwood in the 2nd quarter. But Alabama would reclaim the lead before halftime on another Humphrey (he had 200+ yards on the day) score giving the Tide a 14-7 edge at the midway point.

Alabama extended that lead to 17-7 after a Van Tiffin field goal in the 3rd quarter and carried that lead into the final quarter of the game. But Auburn wasn’t done just yet.

The Tigers struck back early in the 4th on Fullwood’s 2nd score of the day cutting the lead to 17-14. Later, a big stop by the Auburn defense forced a Bama punt and the Tigers had the ball at their own 33 yard line with just over four minutes to play. The Tigers slowly and methodically marched their way down the field, including converting a critical 4th and short thanks to a shoe string grab by Trey Gainous.

With only 33 seconds left and the Tigers at the eight yard line, Pat Dye called for a reverse. Only problem is the wrong guy was in the game. This play was designed to go to backup wideout Scott Bolton, who wasn’t in the game. Instead, stud sophomore Lawyer Tillman lined up ready to run a play he had never run before outside of some token reps in practice. Auburn’s coaching staff frantically tried to call a timeout but the officials didn’t see them.

Turns out, Tillman knew the play just fine.

His eight yard score gave the Tigers a 21-17 lead with very little time remaining. Alabama’s last gasp hail mary fell short and the Tigers went home happy.

8 days till kickoff! War Eagle!