The Southeastern Conference doesn’t simply have memorable plays, they name them. Some came out of the playbook, others did not. All live in the memory banks of SEC fans. Give them the nickname and they’ll break it down.
(This story is part of The Kansas City Star’s Football 2015 special section that publishes Sunday, Aug. 30. Pick one up and check out more here.)
Dec. 2, 1972: “Punt Bama Punt”
Alabama entered the Iron Bowl at Birmingham’s Legion Field a two-touchdown favorite, and for 3 1/2 quarters the Crimson Tide was in control. It led 16-0 entering the fourth quarter when Auburn got on the board with a field goal. The Tigers then blocked two punts, and David Langner returned them both for touchdowns, giving Auburn an improbable 17-16 triumph.
Sept. 6, 1980: “My God, a freshman”
Georgia running back Herschel Walker picked up steam and ran untouched into the end zone from the 16-yard line against Tennessee. At least Walker must have felt like it was a clear path. Actually, he bulldozed one Vols defender and bulled through two more as if they weren’t there. Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson punctuated his call with this marvel: “My God, a freshman.”
Nov. 9, 2002: “Bluegrass Miracle”
Kentucky was about to celebrate one of its greatest victories, and coach Guy Morriss had already been soaked in ice water. LSU, coached by Nick Saban, had time for one snap and needed 74 yards for the end zone. The play “Dash Right 93 Berlin,” a deep pass down the middle from Tigers quarterback Marcus Randall, was well covered. But Kentucky didn’t knock down the pass. It knocked it up and into the arms of streaking Devery Henderson, who took it to the end zone for a 33-30 victory.
Nov. 16, 2013: “Prayer at Jordan-Hare”
Auburn faced fourth and 18 from its 27, trailing Georgia by one with 36 seconds remaining. The Tigers would need a pass to around midfield for a chance to work a field-goal attempt. Instead, quarterback Nick Marshall let it fly, and two Bulldogs defenders surrounded Ricardo Louis. Both defenders seemed to get a hand on the ball, but the ball remained afloat and fell into Louis’ arms for a 73-yard score and 43-38 victory.
Nov. 30, 2013: “Kick Bama Kick” or “Kick-Six”
This play is so memorable it goes by multiple names. In one of the most amazing moments in college football history, Auburn’s Chris Davis returned Alabama’s missed field goal 109 yards with no time remaining to give the Tigers a 34-28 triumph and send them to the SEC championship game against Missouri.