The 2009 season was the start of the current college football juggernaut that is Nick Saban’s Alabama dynasty. The season was full of memorable moments, like Rocky Block, dismantling Tim Tebow’s Gators in a bloodbath of revenge, and, of course #ifonlyColtMcCoy.
What sometimes slips to the wayside in memory though, is how Auburn very nearly ruined it all. Again. The unranked Tigers threw their entire playbook, the whole kitchen sink, and a nearby cow at the #2 ranked Crimson Tide. A 67-yard end-around trick play led to a touchdown, which led to an onside kick and another TD put Auburn up 14-0 as the Tigers chewed up the first 10 minutes of the 1st quarter. At the same time, they keyed in on Heisman hopeful Mark Ingram, holding him to only 10 yards until a pointless drive at the end of the half when he finally got an 8-yarder.
Greg McElroy and Trent Richardson did just enough for Alabama to claw their way back into the game as the Tide’s elite defense buckled up from the early shellshock and kept Auburn from moving the ball again the entire half. Unfortunately, a busted coverage at the start of the 3rd quarter led to another 72-yard touchdown and put the Tigers up 21-14. They went back to being totally ineffective on offense and Alabama converted a couple of field goals, but it was looking more and more like the Tide would be unable to get enough going on offense to win the game.
That was, until, McElroy and the rest of the offense got the ball with 8:03 left in the game.
I won’t wax poetic about it. Just watch and enjoy as Julio Jones and crew took over and drained out nearly an entire quarter:
Roy Upchurch playing as full back and catching that touchdown out of the backfield is part of what inspired my current-day love and obsession with two-running back formations.
Also, can you imagine Julio Jones on today’s Alabama offense? Ohhh boy.