Auburn shocks Alabama with game-winning missed field goal return TD in final second
Oh, nothing. Just a 109-yard missed field goal return touchdown to win the Iron Bowl with no time left on the clock for the home team.
No. 4 Auburn is headed to the SEC title game after that most unbelievable of endings on Saturday. Here’s how the final moments went down:
After a 99-yard touchdown pass from AJ McCarron to Amari Cooper with 10:28 to go broke a 21-21 tie, the teams traded scoreless drives until late in the quarter. Crimson Tide kicker Cade Foster, already 0-2 on field goals in the game, had a 44-yard attempt blocked with just over three minutes to play.
Auburn took over and drove down the short field quickly, with quarterback Nick Marshall flipping a tricky pass to Sammie Coates for a 39-yard game-tying touchdown pass with just 32 seconds to go:
Rather than try a Hail Mary or play it safe with another run, Alabama head coach Nick Saban opted to trot out redshirt freshman kicker Adam Griffith for a 57-yard field goal try. It fell short and into the waiting arms of Auburn’s Chris Davis, who was roughly nine yards back in his own end zone. Davis returned the kick the length of the field for the winning touchdown (officially a 100-yard return) with no time remaining.
Here’s the incredible ending:
For the second straight game, Auburn pulled off a miracle finish. The Tigers defeated Georgia on a deflected pass on a fourth-down prayer two weeks ago:
Saban will surely take some heat for the decision to try a long field goal with an inexperienced kicker and limited athleticism on the field to defend the scenario that unfolded. The loss almost certainly ends Alabama’s hopes to play in the BCS title game.
With the win, Auburn clinched the SEC West and earned a spot in next weekend’s SEC title game in Atlanta.
The result is great news for BCS No. 2 Florida State and No. 3 Ohio State, who now seem to be in the drivers’ seats for the BCS title game. Let the debate begin about whether a one-loss Auburn team with a robust SEC resume would deserve a spot ahead of those two if it can win next week.