The miraculous Hail Marry pass from Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall to reciever Ricardo Louis did more than just win the game; it brought back together a family.
Doug Flutie made a similar pass to wide receiver Gerard Phelan to lift Boston College over Miami in the 1984 Orange Bowl. Flutie had 28 seconds left to score, trailing 45-41 in the fourth quarter, and then it happened. A pass that went 63 yards against 30mph winds went into the end zone and tipped until caught by Phelan. Yes, this game happened 29 years ago, long before Saturday’s Auburn win over Georgia, but there’s one similarity.
The relentless pursuit to never accept defeat is what combines these two teams. Flutie won a Heisman. Marshall isn’t in contention, but it’s deeper than that. After a 3-9 season last year, Auburn was coming off its worst season in school history. Many fans were in denial about the real tragedy that manifested within Auburn. Just two seasons after winning a BCS National Championship they were looking for a new coach. Then Gus Malzahn happened.
The passion and dignity seemed to be back with a strong Rivals eighth finish. Recruiting looked to be back on a consistent track and the fan base jumped on board. Even without a starting quarterback in the off-season, Malzahn stayed confident and continued on his mission to restore Auburns’ pride.
Fast forward to Nov. 17, 2013. The Hail Mary that brought a sports family back together happened in Jordan-Hare Stadium. One fourth and 18 touchdown pass will set up an unforgettable Iron Bowl with Alabama in two weeks. The Crimson Tide remains undefeated and number one. They will enter Auburn with a SEC and BCS Championship game at stake.
No words can describe the rivalry between the Tigers and Crimson Tide, but one thing is certain; this game will mean more than any other Iron Bowl ever played. Don’t miss out and tune in on Nov. 30th for a game to remember.
Watch the miracle catch:
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[Edited by Anne Stanford and Silvia Giagnoni - 11/18/13]