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.
#93 - Mike Blanc, DT
Game - Auburn vs. Oregon (BCS National Championship Game), January 10, 2011
Mike Blanc was one of the pieces that helped to make Auburn’s national championship team truly special. Obviously Cam Newton was the star, and the emergence of Nick Fairley alongside on the defensive line helped to create opportunities for guys like Blanc and Zach Clayton in the middle, but Blanc came to Auburn in 2007 as a part of the class that ended up being the foundation of a title team.
Playing as a senior in 2010, he was part of a stingy run-stuffing unit, amassing 26 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, and 2.5 sacks. In the final game of the season, in a tough spot, he made his biggest play of the year against the Ducks.
In a game billed to be a wild shootout, the long layoff before kickoff stunted both teams’ offensive efficiencies. They each racked up yards, but had trouble turning those into points. The first quarter passed without incident, and it wasn’t until an Oregon field goal in the second quarter that things began happening. Auburn answered with the opening touchdown of the game on a Cam Newton strike to Kodi Burns. The Ducks came right back and took the lead again on a toss from Darron Thomas to LaMichael James.
Trailing 11-7, Auburn moved right down the field, chewing up clock as they used the read option to go 68 yards in 16 plays, melting nearly half of the second quarter away in the process. On first and goal at the Oregon 9, Newton completed a pass to Terrell Zachery down to the 2-yard line, but Auburn was stuffed on the next two plays and Cam short-armed a sure touchdown to an open Eric Smith on fourth down. Oregon took over at their own 2-yard line. An illegal motion penalty moved them back half the distance, and on first down Mike Blanc bulled through and grabbed James before he could exit the end zone, with the ball firmly planted on the goal line for a safety. Auburn pulled within two points at 11-9, and went on to score on the next drive to take the lead.
Here’s the sequence beginning with the fourth down play:
For fun, read a hilariously salty article by our friends over at Addicted to Quack as they rewatched this game in advance of our meeting in 2019.
Get ready for more defensive lineman fun over the next couple of days in the series!