I’ll be honest. I am probably stretching it a bit with this play. I am PRETTY sure this punt was attempted at Florida’s 25, not their 24 yard line. Also, Tre Smith’s return went down in the books as either for 15 or 11 yards, I can’t really seem to figure out. But whatever this play is awesome and we should enjoy it.
In 2006, the Florida Gators lost exactly one football game. That loss occurred at a place where plenty of highly rank teams have come to die: Jordan-Hare Stadium. Unlike the 2007 matchup the next year, this one was a highly anticipated showdown between two of the top teams in the country. Auburn entered ranked #11 in the nation but had just been upset the week before by Arkansas thanks to some high school offense run by some guy named Gus Malzahn....
Florida, meanwhile, sported an undefeated record and were looking to pounce all over a suspected vulnerable Tiger team. Early, it looked like that’s exactly what would happen. The Gators offense marched all over Auburn’s defense while the Tigers were kicking field goals and being helped out by holding calls in the endzone. The fact that Auburn only trailed 17-11 at halftime is kinda crazy.
At halftime, Tommy Tuberville challenged his defense to step up and stop playing scared. The defense answered the call, shutting out Urban Meyer’s high powered offensive attack in the 2nd half. But they even went the extra mile of scoring some points themselves which is good considering Auburn’s offense never found the endzone that night.
But the defining play of this game happened early in the 3rd quarter. After forcing a Gator punt on their first possession of the half, Auburn’s special teams came up huge.
Both Jordan-Hare and that Tiger defense would give the Gators hell the rest of the night. Auburn’s defense came up time and time again in the 2nd half eventually scoring a touchdown of their own as time expired to give Auburn the 27-17 victory. Still one of my all time favorite Auburn football games.
24 days till kickoff! War Eagle!