Auburn bowl trivia: 10 answers that might surprise you
Auburn’s matchup against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 will be the Tigers’ 41st bowl appearance. Entering its showdown with the Sooners, AU is 23-15-2 in bowl games.
But how well do you know Auburn’s bowl history? Using a “Jeopardy”-like format, here are 10 answers to Tiger-related bowl questions that might shock/surprise you:
Auburn kicked off its 40-game postseason history with this matchup against Villanova in Havana, Cuba, in 1937. In all, seven Bacardi Bowls took place between 1907 and 1946.
Al Del Greco
Arguably the greatest kicker in Auburn history, he was responsible for all of the Tigers’ points in their 9-7 victory over Michigan in the Sugar Bowl after the 1983 season. Del Greco, who missed one PAT in 111 attempts during his four-year career on the Plains, made six field goals against Kentucky in 1982, a school record that current Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson matched in the Tigers’ 18-13 victory over LSU in September.
In the Tigers’ only appearance in what used to be called the Hall of Fame Bowl, Auburn beat the Buckeyes 31-14 on New Year’s Day 1990. Reggie Slack threw for 3 TDs and ran for another in a matchup that became the Outback Bowl in 1995.
It’s the score of the only tie in Sugar Bowl history, when Auburn and unbeaten Syracuse played to a stalemate on New Year’s Day 1988. Win Lyle’s 30-yard field goal with one second left secured the draw for Auburn. Fans of Syracuse, which finished 11-0-1 and ranked No. 4, were outraged by Pat Dye’s decision to play it safe.
In protest, a Syracuse radio station sent the Auburn coach 2,000 ugly ties, which Dye autographed and auctioned off, generating $30,000 for Auburn’s general scholarship fund.
The quarterback helped Auburn overcome a 15-point, third-quarter deficit in 21-17 victory over Clemson in the Peach Bowl on Jan. 2, 1998. Following three years as Auburn’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach from 2013-15, Craig has coached LSU’s wideouts this season.
The Gator Bowl
It’s the one bowl Auburn has appeared in twice in the same calendar year. The Tigers lost to Texas Tech 35-13 on Jan. 1, 1954 then beat Baylor 33-13 on Dec. 31st of that year.
Coincidentally, AU also reached the Gator Bowl the following season. Vanderbilt topped the Tigers 25-13 on New Year’s Eve 1955.
He’s the 2,000-yard rusher Auburn held to 72 yards on 20 carries in the Tigers’ 13-9 victory over Penn State in the 2003 Capital One Bowl. The Nittany Lions running back, who finished third in Heisman voting that season, was outperformed by Auburn’s Ronnie Brown, who ran for 184 yards and 2 TDs on 37 carries — all game-highs.
It’s the team Auburn defeated 27-3 in the 1974 Gator Bowl — the last bowl victory of coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan’s career. Jordan remains Auburn’s leader in victories (176) and games coached (265).
Auburn beat USC 16-7 in the 1986 edition of this game for its only victory over the Trojans. Southern Cal topped the Tigers in season-opening games in 2002 (24-17) and 2003 (23-0).
Pat Dye’s career record in Sugar Bowls included Auburn’s aforementioned two-point victory over Michigan in 1984. The tie with Syracuse occurred at the end of the following season. Florida State tripped up the Tigers 13-7 on Jan. 2, 1989.