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Lucky bounce gives Auburn wild finish, next up Alabama

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It was fourth an 18. Georgia had just sucked all of the momentum out of the stadium. Or so it seemed. Nick Marshall dropped back to pass and launched a deep ball out of as much desperation as he had hope. It was deflected by a Georgia defender and for a split second it looked as though Alabama would be one step closer to wrapping up the SEC West tonight. But then, as fate would have it, the ball landed in the hands of Ricardo Louis, who ran uncontested to the end zone to capture a 43-38 lead that seemed improbable just two seconds before. But this seesaw battle would not end without one last effort from Aaron Murray and Georgia, but Murray’s final pass was hopeless as he was hit as he threw. This time the ball fell to the ground instead of one lucky receiver’s hands with nothing but daylight in front of him.

Auburn 45, Georgia 38. Whew!

After holding off Georgia (6-3, 4-2 SEC) Saturday, Auburn (10-1, 5-1 SEC) is now in control of their SEC West fate. All that is standing in the way is the top-ranked team in the country, the two-time defending BCS champions and the biggest rival of them all for Auburn; Alabama. Oh, is that all?

The stage for a monumental Iron Bowl match-up in two weeks is now halfway set. Auburn will get a week off to rest and prepare for Alabama, who likely will come to Auburn with an undefeated record as the top-ranked team in the country (assuming the Tide win Saturday night). The way Auburn has been playing of late under head coach Gus Malzahn, the Tigers look to be the biggest threat to Alabama on their quest for a third straight BCS title. As it turns out, Auburn could still figure in to the BCS Championship equation. A win over Alabama would send Auburn in to the SEC championship game. Would a one-loss SEC champion be passed by an undefeated Ohio State or Baylor, or perhaps a one-loss Pac 12 champion (Stanford or Oregon)? The debates would be fascinating, but you could make a very strong case for Auburn given the national perception of the SEC.

But none of that will come in t play if Auburn does not beat Alabama at home for the first time since 2007.

On Saturday, Auburn looked about as worthy of a challenge to Alabama as any. The Tigers rolled up over 500 yards of offense, highlighted by a 100-yard rushing performance from Tre Mason and the dual-threat play of quarterback Marshall. Eight different players caught a pass for Auburn and the offense avoided a turnover.

Auburn also needed to dig deep and hold off a furious rally by Georgia. Trailing 37-17 in the fourth quarter, Aaron Murray threw two touchdowns to trim a 20-point deficit to a one-score game, and his controversial touchdown run gave Georgia a brief lead. Video replay showed Murray’s knee may have touched the ground before getting the ball across the goal line but there was not enough indisputable evidence to overturn the original touchdown call. It seemed as though Georgia had managed to escape with a win against all odds and set themselves up for a potential rematch with Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

They were one bounce away from that scenario being possible.

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19 Responses to “Lucky bounce gives Auburn wild finish, next up Alabama”
  1. classyjacklambert says: Nov 16, 2013 7:50 PM

    That was a great game.

  2. tmb333 says: Nov 16, 2013 7:50 PM

    I just can’t understand how stupid and selfish players can be. You knock the ball down in that situation every time. Catching it costs your team 50 yards on the turnover plus the player intercepting it can fumble and give the ball back to their opponent. Kids more worried about be the sportscenter hero than making the correct football play to help their team win. Good win for Auburn.

  3. jrs45 says: Nov 16, 2013 7:53 PM

    That damn sec defense

  4. liverpoolred04 says: Nov 16, 2013 7:53 PM

    Guess you don’t want to mention the blown touchdown call @ssclown

  5. Kevin McGuire says: Nov 16, 2013 7:57 PM

    -liverpoolred04 The Aaron Murray TD? The one I went in to detail explaining how it was probably not a touchdown?

  6. classyjacklambert says: Nov 16, 2013 8:14 PM

    Honestly you couldn’t tell if the knee touched the ground at all on that Murray TD. It could have been on the defender for all we know.

  7. Kevin McGuire says: Nov 16, 2013 8:24 PM

    It’s possible, but I think there is a very good chance his knee was down before the ball crossed. But again, it’s like hockey. We may know what happened but because there is no clear video showing it, you can’t overturn it. Notice the official said the play stands, and not that the play was confirmed. Very different meanings.

  8. madtownthrowdown says: Nov 16, 2013 8:28 PM

    Great teams don’t blow 20 point leads in the final 10 minutes. Just glad Georgia didn’t win otherwise they’d jump back up into top 15 somehow.

  9. Deb says: Nov 16, 2013 8:30 PM

    People are being a little hard on the DBs. #25 was the only one really hot-dogging it, and he’ll be thinking about that for a long, long time. I cut him a little slack because he’s a college kid. If this were the pros … no.

  10. taintedlombardis says: Nov 16, 2013 10:27 PM

    #25 is going to be remembered for a long time…sucks to be him.

  11. thefiesty1 says: Nov 16, 2013 10:51 PM

    Best play this season. Unbelievable! Congrats to AU. Now take down Bama.

  12. decarte44 says: Nov 16, 2013 10:56 PM

    You said: “But none of that will come in t play if Auburn does not beat Alabama at home for the first time since 2007.”

    Actually Auburn beat ‘Bama in Tuscaloosa in 2010. Came back 21 points or so as I remember. Cam Newton’s year….

  13. joerevs300 says: Nov 16, 2013 11:03 PM

    I turned the game on late and when Georgia scored with under a minute and a half left, to come from 21 down into the lead, I’m sure most people thought the game was over.

    And, much like what happened with Cincinnati/Baltimore last weekend, the desperation heave on 4th day got tipped up in the air and landed right in the WR’s lap. One of the most unbelievable plays I’ve ever seen in watching CFB for over 30 years.

    One more point: Maybe coaches will start learning to trust their players vs. always calling time outs. Because that also lets the OFFENSE have a chance to get set again too.

    Now, given Alabama’s struggles tonight, it’s going to turn the Iron Bowl into a lot more then what was assumed to be a stepping-stone for Bama to get right back to the BCS National Championship again.

  14. Deb says: Nov 16, 2013 11:25 PM

    @joerevs300 …

    Good grief … who thought the Iron Bowl would be just a stepping stone for Bama back to the championship game? Not this Bama fan or any other I’ve seen posting on these boards. Anyone who’s been watching Auburn this year or who understands the history of the Iron Bowl rivalry would know better than that.

  15. leothelyon says: Nov 17, 2013 2:00 AM

    #25 Hey, can’t get to the ball #5? I’ll just tip it your way, here you go!

  16. amosalanzostagg says: Nov 17, 2013 10:01 AM

    Rivalry weekend lives!

  17. wabbitslayer says: Nov 17, 2013 10:08 AM

    Score reflects that the two teams were pretty closely matched, 99 times out of 100 that last play (and the game) goes the other way.

    But it probably wouldn’t have come down to that if the dawgs had shown up in the first half.

  18. mitchrog says: Nov 17, 2013 1:48 PM

    Dawgs cant blame anyone but themselves for this loss, after a gutsy comeback, they just made a bad mistake in choosing to try to intercept instead of just slapping it down, but the previous poster is right, if Georgia played at all in the first quarter it would not have come down to this bounce of fate. Can someone more knowledgeable of offense please tell me why Mike Bozo…. err Bobo, Georgia’s OC, cant call a decent game until he’s 20 points down? he is predictable and conservative, until he’s got nothing to lose and then, he let’s the SEC all time leading QB get to work and bring them back.

  19. 1990tiger says: Nov 17, 2013 7:43 PM

    wabbitslayer says:

    ….it probably wouldn’t have come down to that if the dawgs had shown up in the first half.

    or if Auburn hadn’t relaxed in the second half, or to be more specific, the 4th quarter.

    There are 2 ways to look at it:

    Auburn controlled the game for the first 3 quarters then got sloppy/lazy in the 4th and needed a miracle to win it,
    Georgia didn’t show up for the first 3 quarters, dominated the last quarter to take the lead but lost the game on a miracle play.

    Either way, in the end it was better to be an AU fan than a UGA fan.

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