It’s often said that a loss should be attributed to the entire team, not to one athlete or play. However, there are certain plays and calls that have changed the entire momentum of a game before and have made the difference of a victory or loss. What is the biggest game-changing play or call in the annals of Alabama football?
2010 Iron Bowl: Mark Ingram Fumbles for a Touchback
I don’t know many Tide fans that aren’t still disgusted by the loss to Auburn after Alabama had a 24-point lead. There were a plenty of mistakes made by Alabama in the second half of that game, but when Antoine Carter knocked the ball out of Mark Ingram’s hands and it just kept rolling and rolling, it felt like a kick right to the stomach.
1995 Iron Bowl: Curtis Brown Gets Called Out of Bounds on a Touchdown
I can still see the picture on the front page of the Tuscaloosa News that Sunday. Curtis Brown was clearly in bounds and should have been given his six points, which would have given Alabama the win that day. Brown had one foot in the endzone, but in the days before instant replay reviews it didn’t matter. All the matter is the big fat “L” that marks Alabama for that game in Iron Bowl history.
1983 Alabama vs. Penn State: Preston Gothard Catch Didn’t Count
Another case where instant replay might have changed the outcome of the game was in 1983, in a game in which Penn State had a 34-7 lead. Alabama reduced the lead to 34-28 and were on the Nittany Lions’ four-yard line. Tight End Preston Gothard caught what would have been the winning score and yelled, “Was I in?” Replays and pictures would later show that he was clearly in but yet again, it didn’t matter.
1992 Sugar Bowl: George Teague Strips the Ball Against Miami
In a game filled with Alabama highlights, one play stands out. Against the defending champion Miami Hurricanes, defensive back George Teague ran down world-class speedster Lamar Thomas and not only caught up to him, he stripped the ball away from the receiver. Though the play didn’t stand due to a penalty, it remains one of the most electrifying plays in all of college football history.
There are countless examples of plays and calls that changed the course of Alabama football, and everyone has different memories that stand out. One person I asked mentioned an Alabama-LSU game in which a pass interference call was missed. Another discussed Shula leaving in Tyrone Prothro against Florida, which led to his horrific leg injury. If yours isn’t on the list, let us know what it is.
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