It’s hard for a single player to dominate a game by himself in football. It’s REALLY hard to do so as a defensive player. That’s why when it happens, it tends to stick in your memory forever. On October 17th, 1987 Aundray Bruce did just that in Atlanta, GA against the hapless Yellow Jackets.
This was a bad Georgia Tech squad yet somehow they were in a very good position to win this football game. Imagine what position they would have been in if Aundray Bruce hadn’t been on the field that day.
The Montgomery, AL native recorded nine tackles, three sacks, three interceptions (A DEFENSIVE LINEMAN HAD THREE INTERCEPTIONS), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the Tigers’ sloppy victory. Oh and one of those picks he took back for a TD. Oh and that fumble he forced resulted in another Auburn touchdown. I imagine there are Georgia Tech offensive linemen out there that still have Aundray Bruce nightmares. I feel pretty confident in saying it’s the single greatest defensive performance by an Auburn defensive player in program history.
But today’s play is that one time that day Aundray Bruce didn’t actually score points for the Tigers. Down 10-7 with 4 minutes left in the game at their own 9 yard line, a struggling Auburn offense found their rhythm at just the right time. Jeff Burger would march the Tigers down the field on 14 plays ending in this touchdown pass to Laywer Tillman.
We miss ya Jim.
Bruce would pick off his 3rd pass of the day and return it for a touchdown as time expired to close out the game and give the Tigers a 20-10 victory. Auburn would go on to win their first of three straight SEC Championships. Bruce would be Auburn’s 3rd ever #1 overall pick in the NFL draft. Unfortunately, his NFL career did not live up to his collegiate one but he will always have a place in Auburn football lore for his performance that day.
4 days till kickoff! War Eagle!