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36 Days ‘Til Alabama Football Kickoff 2016: 2008 Iron Bowl

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Alabama defeated Auburn in Tuscaloosa for the first time in series history, 36–0, in Tommy Tuberville's last game as Auburn's head coach.

Years of frustration taken out on one glorious night.
Years of frustration taken out on one glorious night.

In sports, grudges can be a good thing. They can motivate athletes to never be complacent and to always hold disdain for the opponent.

For Alabama against Tennessee, it is Fat Phil Fulmer squealing to the NCAA like a whiny little !@#$%. And for you old enough to remember, it is that @!$%&* ?#+&* Peyton Manning climbing up on the band's conductor ladder and leading the band in a rendition of "Rocky Top" after a win in 1997... in BIRMINGHAM!

Against Auburn, there are many motivators but one of the best nougats of sweet revenge came on November 29, 2008 in Tuscaloosa. I'll try not to prattle on as I am prone to do but a quick recap is in order.

From 1904 to 1988, the Iron Bowl was played in Birmingham as a neutral location. Starting in 1989, at Auburn's insistence, the game would be played on their campus in the years when they were the host team. In 2000, Alabama followed suit holding their half in Tuscaloosa as games at creaky old Legion Field were being phased out. To the indignation of Tide fans, former coach Mike Dubose managed to lose that inaugural game in T-town 9-0. Dennis Franchione and Mike Shula did not fair any better, losing the next three home Iron Bowls.

Things turned from bad to worse when the Tigers won four in a row in the series. Entering the 2006 game, some clever @$$#°!ȩ from Lee County started the phrase "Fear the Thumb" signifying the fifth digit on most of their hands. They went on to win their fifth and sixth straight game against the Tide. Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville - clearly a nonbeliever of a little thing called karma - embraced this movement a little too much to the ire of Bama fans. [I won't insult you by posting pictures here but just Google "tommy tuberville fingers"]

Enter Nick Saban.

After a Mulligan year in 2007, Saban had gotten the house in order and ran the Crimson Tide up to an 11-0 record heading into the 2008 game. Failing to sustain their success during Alabama's down years, the Tigers stumbled to 5-6 needing an Iron Bowl win to become bowl eligible.

And then this happened:


1 2 3 4 T
Auburn 0 0 0 0 0
ALABAMA
3 7 19 7 36

Matchup AUB BAMA
1st Downs 8 21
3rd down efficiency 4-14 6-15
4th down efficiency 0-0 2-3
Total Yards 170 412
Passing 133 181
Comp-Att 9-23 10-18
Yards per pass 4.9 9.9
Interceptions thrown 0 0
Rushing 57 234
Rushing Attempts 30 50
Yards per rush 1.9 4.7
Penalties 4-45 1-4
Turnovers 3 0
Fumbles lost 3 0
Interceptions thrown 0 0
Possession 14:52 21:37


Auburn Passing

C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT QBR
Kodi Burns 9/23 113 4.9 0 0 11.3
TEAM 9/23 133 4.9 0 0 --

Alabama Passing

C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT QBR
John Parker Wilson 8/16 134 8.4 1 0 59.8
Greg McElroy 2/2 44 22.0 1 0 98.2
TEAM 10/18 181 9.9 2 0 --

Auburn Rushing

CAR YDS AVG TD LONG
Mario Fannin 8 28 3.5 0 8
Ben Tate 4 12 3.0 0 3
Brad Lester 6 11 1.8 0 8
Kodi Burns 12 6 0.5 0 13
TEAM 30 57 1.9 0 13

Alabama Rushing

CAR YDS AVG TD LONG
Glen Coffee 20 144 7.2 1 41
Mark Ingram 15 64 4.3 2 14
Roy Upchurch 2 15 7.5 0 11
Terry Grant 7 11 1.6 0 7
Jeramie Griffin 1 2 2.0 0 2
John Parker Wilson 4 0 0.0 0 4
TEAM 50 234 4.7 3 41

Auburn Receiving

REC YDS AVG TD LONG
Mario Fannin 3 44 14.7 0 30
Rodgeriqus Smith 2 39 19.5 0 27
Robert Dunn 1 10 10.0 0 10
Montez Billings 1 9 9.0 0 9
Gabe McKenzie 1 6 6.0 0 6
Derek Winter 1 5 5.0 0 5
TEAM 9 113 12.6 0 30

Alabama Receiving

REC YDS AVG TD LONG
Nikita Stover 1 39 39.0 1 39
Julio Jones 3 36 12.0 0 15
Marquis Maze 1 34 34.0 1 34
Mark Ingram 1 27 27.0 0 27
Darius Hanks 1 17 17.0 0 17
Brad Smelley 1 10 10.0 0 10
Travis McCall 1 9 9.0 0 9
Nick Walker 1 6 6.0 0 6
TEAM 10 178 17.8 2 39

Not just a win but an emphatic win, a shutout and shutdown.

36-0

Auburn managed only 170 total yards including a mere eight rushing yards in the second half. It was the biggest lopsided victory in the series in 46 years prior. That is until this happened.

"Our seniors didn't want to leave without beating Auburn," quarterback John Parker Wilson said. "We don't have to hear about it anymore. We beat them good. We left no doubt. It's a good way to finish them off."

Tuberville resigned after this game, never to be heard from again.