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.
#74 — Tracy Rocker, DT
Game - Auburn vs. USC, January 1, 1987 (Citrus Bowl)
Auburn’s 1986 season was an interesting one, as the Tigers rolled out a 9-2 regular season with the two defeats coming by a total of four points in two infamous games against Florida and Georgia. The rest of the year was a magnificent display as Auburn followed up Bo Jackson’s Heisman season with blowouts in each of their first eight wins, and a dramatic 21-17 last-second win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl.
The Tigers didn’t win the SEC like they would for the next three seasons, but they’d get to play in Florida in January anyway. In marched USC, led by Rodney Peete. The Trojans struck first in the Citrus Bowl, but Auburn followed with two touchdowns in the second quarter — one on a little toss from Jeff Burger to Walter Reeves and the other on a scamper from Brent Fullwood — and led 14-7 at halftime. Things would be silent for the next quarter and a half until USC found itself deep in their own end, trying to mount a comeback in the final period.
Tracy Rocker’s chasedown of Rodney Peete gave Auburn a 16-7 margin that would stand until the clock hit zeroes, and the Tigers finished at 10-2 that season. Auburn would win the next three SEC championships.
If we’re going to have a #74 find the scorebook in 2021, it’ll have to come from freshman offensive lineman Garner Langlo, who will likely not see much of the field anyway. I think Rocker’s little mark will stand the test of the time for at least the next few years.