It’s been said that the truth can be stranger than fiction and there may be some reality to that. Some things that happen on the football field would be unbelievable if somebody just made the story up.
Punt Bama Punt comes to mind. Alabama fans didn’t think it was very funny, but Auburn fans surely did and anyone that was neutral got huge laughs out of that game. Alabama was coached by maybe the best college football coach of all time in Bear Bryant, so you wouldn’t think such goof ups could have happened.
You just can’t make things like that up.
But, the Interception Game of 1994 just might be the strangest one of all. If Stephen King, or John
Grisham wrote about this game in one of their novels, a reader just might throw the book against the wall because it’s so unbelievable.
LSU Tiger fans would have liked for it to have been in a Stephen King book. For them, it turned into a Horror story and it was a bad, low budget Horror flick for the Bayou Tiger fans.
The Auburn Tigers had some good seasons under head coach Pat Dye. He coached Heisman winner Bo Jackson and 1983 was his best season when the Tigers finished 11-1.
It all came unraveled in 1992 with Auburn finishing with a poor 5-5-1 record and being placed on probation.
After letting Dye go, the Tigers hired Terry Bowden, obviously the son of Florida State legend Bobby, had been successful at Salem and at Stamford and had an overall record of 45-23-1.
The Auburn Tigers hired him probably hoping he would turn out as good as Bobby Bowden had always been.
Terry Bowden got off to an unbelievable start at Auburn. His first season, 1993, he had coached the Tigers to a perfect 11-0 record. They were not eligible for a bowl game because of the probation.
The 1994 season had begun the exact same way as the 1993 season had ended. After they beat Ole
Miss in their opener, they beat Louisiana Monroe.
The team that finished a weak 5-5-1 in 1992, was now on a 13 game winning streak.
The LSU Tigers were not exactly world beaters in 1994 with head coach Curley Hallman. Hiring Hallman from Southern Mississippi where he had done really well had actually turned into a big mistake by the LSU Tigers. Whatever qualities Hallman possessed did not work out well at LSU.
But, on September 17th, 1994 the LSU Tigers dominated the undefeated Auburn Tigers. LSU had 407 total yards while the home team Auburn Tigers were held to 165 yards.
In the second half, Auburn was held to just one first down and 16 total yards. This is an LSU team that finished the 1994 football season with a 4-7 record, so their stuffing of the Auburn Tigers was puzzling.
LSU had victory in their hands with a 26-9 lead going into the 4th quarter.
But, then, a funny thing happened and LSU fans will disagree that it was amusing.
LSU Quarterback Jamie Howard threw an interception to Ken Alvis of Auburn.
Alvis ran it back and was seemingly tackled on about the 3 yard line of LSU, but he kept his feet in a miraculous play and got over for a Touchdown. With a 26 -16 lead and Auburn unable to do anything offensively, the LSU Tigers were safe. Or, so they thought.
Howard went back to throw again and Auburn’s Fred Smith picked it off on the LSU 32 and ran it back for a score. Now, LSU fans must have been getting really nervous because the score was now
26 – 23.
Howard dropped back again and threw the ball into a crowd. The pass was deflected and was picked off by Brian Robinson and he ran it back for a third Touchdown. Now, with no offense at all, the
Auburn Tigers were ahead 30-26.
Once more, LSU Quarterback Jamie Howard dropped back and Auburn’s Brian Robinson picked off his pass as if he was the intended target. While Robinson was running it back, he was hit and he fumbled the ball and it was recovered by LSU.
LSU was now behind 26-30 and Howard was trying his best to lead his team down the field for the win. He threw the ball into the End Zone and it was intercepted by Auburn’s Chris Shelling.
Auburn had 16 yards of total offense, and yet scored 3 touchdowns to come from behind and remain undefeated and win the game 30-26.
Auburn’s win streak increased to 14 games.
The Auburn win streak reached 20 games before they were tied by Georgia. In the Iron Bowl against the Crimson Tide of Alabama, the Tigers lost their first game since 1992.
They were on probation, so that was their last game of the year. The Tigers finished 9-1-1.
I promise this is all true. I have a wild imagination and I would never make up something like this thinking that nobody would believe it.
Supposedly, LSU Quarterback Jamie Howard received many death threats after this game. I guess LSU fans don’t have a sense of humor. Seems like LSU wouldn’t have been throwing the ball with a big lead and Auburn’s offense unable to move the ball. But, the head coach Curly Hallman was also receiving death threats, anyway.
But, on September 17th, 1994 the Interception Game really happened.