Instead of attempting an expected Hail Mary, Coach Saban sent long-distance kicker Adam Griffith out for a 57-yard effort. The decent kick fell just short, and Auburn returner Chris Davis sprinted more than 100 yards up the sideline for an improbable 34-28 win. If you haven’t already, please watch this play on YouTube.
That incredible game overshadowed a fantastic showdown in Ann Arbor, Mich. where Ohio State edged Michigan in a 42-41 nailbiter. After the Buckeyes and Wolverines traded punches and touchdowns in the first half, Ohio State jumped ahead with two third quarter touchdowns. While most folks expected Michigan to wilt, the Wolverines responded with three fourth quarter touchdowns. The third score made it 42-41 with 32 seconds remaining, and Michigan coach Brady Hoke decided to try a two point conversion. This attempt failed, however, and Ohio State clung to its one point win.
As remarkable as the Auburn and Ohio State victories were, several other teams made major statements this Saturday. Missouri defeated Texas A&M 28-21 in an entertaining battle of former Big 12 schools. Despite trailing 14-7 at halftime, the Tigers showed their resilience once again on a late tie-breaking 57-yard run. One year after going 1-7 in the SEC, the Tigers have legitimized themselves as a title contender.
This could have been the weekend’s best game in previous years, but the game couldn’t compare to the Iron Bowl. In fact, there have been so many incredible rivalry games this weekend that important wins by Baylor, South Carolina, Stanford and Oregon have been relegated to regional significance. Among the other games, UCLA recorded a statement win. The Bruins defeated USC for the second straight year in a game with significant local ramifications. The 35-14 win may have shifted the city’s balance of power.
After my gluttonous consumption of food and college football, I still am not sure whether Auburn, Ohio State or even Missouri will end up playing Florida State. Yet, I am convinced that nothing compares to the passion of college football, especially on Thanksgiving weekend.
— Dominic Kearns