How I Remember It: Kirk Herbstreit called it “a war.” I called it a boring game with an exciting ending. I remember LSU kicking a first half field goal, Brandon Cox scoring on a quarterback sneak in the 3rd quarter, and the reversed pass interference call that completely made sense, but would infuriate me to this day if I were an LSU fan. The call was correct, but when’s the last time you saw a call reversed for a reason that made sense?
If you don’t remember what happened, let me remind you. Near the end of the game, on 4th down, with LSU down 7-3, an LSU receiver was all but tackled as the ball approached him, but Eric Brock dove and knocked the ball away before it got to the receiver. The initial call was pass interference, but after the officials talked about it, the call was reversed. It made sense because the ball wasn’t going to be caught anyway, but pass interference is a judgment call and never reversed. The penalty would have given LSU a first down and put them in prime position to win the game.
When it comes down to it, I’m happy with the call, but like I said, it would be tough for me to swallow if I smelled like a corndog.
What Really Happened: This game was played on ESPN’s Separation Saturday: a set of games that was supposed to separate the contenders from the pretenders. Yes, it still sounds as stupid as it did back then, but anyway.
The Tigers and Tigers came into the game both ranked in the top 10 (Auburn – #3, LSU – #7). The hype was huge.
As remembered, LSU kicked a field goal in the 2nd quarter, and the scored stayed 3-0 going into the half. On Auburn’s first possession of the 2nd half, the good Tigers drove 80 yards in almost seven minutes, capping it with a 1-yard Brandon Cox quarterback sneak. This drive would account for almost half of Auburn’s total yards for the game as they only gained 181 yards. The purple Tigers only gained 311. This game was definitely a good old-fashioned defensive battle.
LSU would drive inside Auburn territory five times in the second half and came away with no points. The two biggest stops coming on the reversed pass interference call, and the final play of the game as Eric Brock saved the day once again with a last second tackle around the 5-yard line.
Fun Facts: This win, paired with a Notre Dame loss, moved Auburn up to #2 in the nation. Also, the 7-3 score was the lowest in Jordan-Hare since 1973. And since we’re talking about the 70’s, this was the first time these two teams played while being ranked in the top 10 since 1972.
Why did I pick this game? This was one of the most hyped games in Jordan-Hare history and it actually lived up to its billing. Even though this was only the third game of the season, Auburn and LSU were both playing for a spot in the SEC championship game and a possible national championship game berth. It was a defensive, methodical game, but Auburn did enough to win a huge battle, holding on for dear life at the end. This was one of the loudest games that I remember and one of the biggest games, that meant the most (at the time), in Jordan-Hare history.
Play of the Game: Eric Brock’s game-saving tackle at the 4-yard line with no time left on the clock sealed the win.
Player of the Game: Eric Brock’s last second tackle and diving play to knock the ball away on the reversed pass interference play definitely gives him the honor.
Quote of the Game: “The coaches told us anything we see in front of us, you hit it.” – Eric Brock
National Story: ESPN
You can view the rest of the 2020 edition of this list here.