2013 Iron Bowl: Auburn Defeats Alabama in Best All-Time Finish to College Football Game

By Patrick Schmidt

For the second game in a row, an Auburn game has ended in a miraculous fashion as the Tigers knocked off Alabama to win the SEC West after Chris Davis ran back a missed field goal as time expired.

After one second was added back to the clock after an official review, Alabama lined up to kick a 57-yard field goal with freshman kicker Adam Griffith, with the game tied at 28. His kick was short and that’s when Davis caught it about seven yards deep and raced up the left sideline and into the end zone as time expired in the best Iron Bowl ever.

This was the first time in Iron Bowl history where the winner would go to the SEC Championship Game. Alabama was a heavy favorite despite Auburn entering the game with the No. 2 rushing attack and a 10-1 record and they were at home, and it ended in improbable fashion.

Is there any other way for a game to end that would top the manner in which this one ended at Jordan-Hare Stadium? We’ve seen Hail Mary’s and classic overtime games, but you can’t top this ending.

A 107-yard return of a missed field goal to knock off the No. 1 team and your blood rival to keep your chances playing for the national title alive is so far-fetched that Hollywood wouldn’t make that movie.

This game had many stars from Nick Marshall with three total touchdowns to Tre Mason rushing for 164 yards to freshman Carl Lawson making a huge stop on a fourth down late. A.J. McCarron connected with Amari Cooper on a 99-yard touchdown to give Alabama a 28-21 lead with 10:28 remaining, and T.J. Yeldon ran for 141.

However, it was the kicking game that cost Alabama a shot at a third-straight national title by going 0-for-4 on field goals. The lack of faith in the kicking game forced Nick Saban to go for it on fourth-and-one late in the fourth quarter rather than kicking a field goal to go up by 10. The way that game was shaping up, who’s to say that kick would have even been good anyway.

What we do know is that the 2013 Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama was the best finish to a college football game since the 1982 game between Stanford and California where the band was on the field. Auburn scored 13 points in the final 32 seconds and this play was better because it ended a potential three-peat and could mean Auburn wins the national title.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and Google and email him at SchmidtPatrick@gmail.com for media inquiries.

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