Miracle on The Plains: Auburn avoids an epic collapse to hold off Georgia

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I’m utterly speechless!

Auburn improved to 10-1 and beat Georgia 43-38, and here are several takeaways from the SEC’s best game:

The Miracle: Nick Marshall’s 73-yard prayer on 4th and 18 was a thing of pure miracles, and for Georgia, it’s something of a curse. From injuries to a last-second home run prayer, it’s been a tough — but eventful — 6-4 year. The defensive fundamentals of a last play Hail Mary include batting the ball down. Josh Harvey-Clemons and Tray Matthews didn’t do it; Ricardo Louis caught the tipped pass en route to the winning touchdown. You can’t make this stuff up.

Related: Watch the unbelievable Auburn TD pass

A tale of two halves: Auburn dominated the first half and led 27-10, while Georgia dominated much of the second half. At one point in the first half, Auburn had 22 first downs compared to Georgia’s 20 total plays. The Bulldogs scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to get the 38-37 lead before the miracle happened.

Already looking ahead? Heading into halftime and especially early in the third quarter with the 34-17 lead, you almost got the sense the game was over and Auburn was already looking ahead to Alabama and the Iron Bowl.

The Warrior: Aaron Murray was a warrior for Georgia, and he put it all out on the line for his team, who needed him in the running game. Murray threw for 415 yards and two touchdowns, but he also carried nine times for 37 yards and two scores, even splitting his forehead wide open for the go-ahead score late in the fourth.

Iron Bowl: It’s going to epic and crazy. Auburn will have to play much better than they did against Georgia, but the Tigers are right where they want to be for the divisional championship against their hated rivals. The Iron Bowl will decide the SEC West and could help shape the national championship. It’s going to be crazy!

Photo Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • Hats off to Murray! He was the only reason UGA was in the game in the end! I hate it for him, it seems like he can never catch a break. That was the Bama UGA game all over again, the UGA fans get hyped up just to be crushed in the end! You would think that Grantham would of made sure that the D knew to bat the ball down not up. Oh yeah, Gurley is a Beast!

  • Great performance from both teams. Exciting finish x 2.

    Missouri should now jump Auburn in the BCS but if they don’t it’s probably helps them win the next two games. Stanford should, but probably won’t, drop out of the top 10 either. Alabama is struggling to win games because their opponents are capable of playing at a high level on any given day also. All of the SEC teams headed for the biggest bowls will represent the conference well, maybe better than ever. What a great football season, thanks to these hard working young men.

    • I’m not so sure about Missouri jumping Auburn, granted we did have a horrendous 2nd half (giving up 231 yards and 21 points in the 4th) They’d also have to jump a recently tough-looking Clemson team, who put a beating on Georgia Tech. Back to Auburn/Georgia: Hats off to Aaron Murray. He had a hell of a game. He was picking apart the AU defense in the 2nd half and making it look easy. Auburn really got lucky on those last offensive and defensive drives. Louis’s catch was a spectacular turn of events. All i can say: What. A. Game. War Eagle!

  • Warrior is exactly what I described him as. I wouldn’t be any prouder of Murray if we were undefeated. This guy worked his ASS off to be at the top of his game and was dealt the worst hand I’ve ever seen for a QB. But have you heard him complain? Have you heard him make excuses? Have you heard him cry about putting yourself In his shoes or leaving college? Hell No…he just goes out there and leaves it all on the field doing whatever it takes to will his team to the end. Say what you want about the other QBs in this league but some things just cannot be measured in wins and losses or stat sheets. And if I’m going into battle I want that guy by my side. Damn. Good. Dawg.

  • When Murray got clobbered at the goal line and scored I was so impressed with the (individual) effort and the fact that all he wants to do is win. He could’ve waited a couple seconds to see if anything opened up and avoided getting hammered, but no. He took that dive knowing he’d be hit by two defenders. ALL of this to be so heartbroken by pure luck/lack of awareness. Georgia needs to teach when to just knock a damn ball down. Not sure why DB’s are trying to pick off a pass on 4th down anyways.

  • Aaron Murray will always be one of my favorite players. Always plays with such class, and he also happen to be pretty dang good. He had Georgia right where they needed to be. Still can’t believe the defenders didn’t just bat the ball down. Pretty selfish play to go for the pick in that situation

  • This had to be one of the best games in this rivarly. Truly. I am a AU fan from birth. My daddy played for AU, is a AU Hall of Famer and he is 80 years old, and was at this game last night. :) My mom passed 2 months ago, and this was his first outing, as she could not stand the dawgs, lol. With all that being said, to know that he was in those stands when that ,marshall m iracle happened, almost brought me to my knees. I cannot tell you how much I felt for Murray. That boy deserves any and all awards that could be given to a player. He has heart, talent, poise, the list could go on and on. Yes, I was cried. For my daddy, my team, and for Aaron Murray. he is the True Boy of Fall. That was the best game in my memory. War Damn Eagle AND GO DAWGS!!!!

  • The funny thing about this game, several friends who were UGA fans said to me going into the game “You’re gonna kill us” and I would respond “I’m not saying anything cause Richt always wins games he has no business winning.” Texts would come in at half time wondering why I wasn’t gloating yet and I said “I’m not saying anything cause Richt always wins games he has no business winning.” Then UGA started mounting their comeback and I was out with some of the friends who were texting me and they started giving me a hard time and then I changed it to “I’m not saying anything cause Richt USUALLY wins games he has no business winning.” Then on 4th and 18 when my friends were already celebrating before the ball was snapped I said “Remember 2006 and Willie Martinez?” They all stopped… Ball was in the air and tipped to Ricardo Louis and after the score, I walked out of the room just to turn around and quote Herm Edwards… “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME… HELLO???” Needless to say they didn’t like the taste of crow. In all seriousness though, Hats off to UGA cause there are plently of games in this series that have come down to the final seconds/play of the game and I have been on both sides.