Over the years, we’ve done different countdowns to kickoff (or tipoff). This year, we’re putting a twist on the classic “Best Auburn Player to Ever Wear Each Number” list. Football is all about lighting up the scoreboard in 2021, so let’s take a walk down memory lane and review the last time a player in each uniform number put up points.
#79 — Donnie Humphrey, DE
Game - Auburn vs. Maryland, November 6, 1983
Alright we finally reached a game where I wasn’t alive yet. Auburn’s final non-conference game of 1983 was against the 7th ranked Maryland Terrapins. This was a non-conference schedule that included Southern Miss, a Texas team that finished the year in the top 5, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Maryland. The “cupcakes” when that group was put together were supposed to be USM and Maryland, but the Terrapins had a quarterback named Boomer Esiason.
Esiason had a phenomenal game and nearly kept pace with one of the best rushing offense days in Auburn history. Bo Jackson and Lionel James both ran for over 100 yards. Tommie Agee ran for over 200 yards. However, with just a 5 point lead and 4 minutes to go in the game, Pat Dye decided to go for it on his own 30 yard line on fourth and inches. Maryland’s offense had been so prolific against one of the best defenses in the country that Dye decided if they didn’t pick up the first down, it was better to go ahead and give Maryland the ball closer to the goal line so that Auburn would have time to drive again. However, Bo Jackson would pick up the first down by going over the top, but the drive stalled after that. Lewis Colbert’s punt was downed inside the Maryland 5, which set up Quincy Williams and Donnie Humphrey to finally put the game away.
Humphrey’s touchdown provided the winning margin of 35-23 and push Auburn’s winning streak to seven games.
A Huntsville native, Humphrey passed away in 2014. RIP to the last, and quite possibly only, #79 to score for the Tigers.