Dec 5, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) catches a 32 yard touchdown pass defended by Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (1) and Marcus Maye (20) during the third quarter in the 2015 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
1993 Sugar Bowl – Defense Really Does Win Championships
Alabama Football had survived the first SEC Championship Game to face the Miami Hurricanes in the Sugar Bowl. The game was on January 1, 1993. The Hurricanes hadn’t lost a game since October 20, 1990.
The dynasty of “the U” was in full swing, and Heisman trophy winning quarterback Gino Toretta wanted another national title before he finished his college career.
Toretta had passed for over 3,000 yards in each of his seasons as a starter. He had swept the individual awards in the 1992 season, winning the Heisman, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year, the Maxwell Award, and the Johnny Unitas trophy.
After trading field goals early, Alabama took a 13-3 lead in the second quarter on a 2-yard run by Sherman Williams.
The most famous play from this game, George Teague’s strip of Lamar Thomas’s touchdown catch, was negated by an offsides penalty. Teague later intercepted Gino Toretta and returned the pick for a touchdown.
Miami would have been the first team to go back-to-back with consensus titles since Alabama did it under coach Bear Bryant in 1978 and 1979. Former Bryant player and assistant Gene Stallings wasn’t going to stand for that, and instead his team pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Alabama history.
With the win, Alabama won their first national championship after Bryant and ended the Miami dynasty.
Next: 1999 SEC Championship