The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

SEC x CFB 150: 1984-1989

122 days ago
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As part of the recognition of the 150th anniversary of college football, the Southeastern Conference is recognizing 150 of the greatest games and moments in the history of the 14 institutions of the SEC.

Each of the SEC's 14 members submitted to the Conference Office 10 great games or moments, and the SEC added 10 conference-wide highlights to produce a total of 150 great moments to be celebrated throughout the 2019 football season. To view the other weeks, click here.

Week 8 - SEC Football 150 Greatest Moments (1984-1989)

Final Score: Georgia 10, Texas 9
Date: January 2, 1984
Site: Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, Texas
Head coach: Vince Dooley
Title: "It's ten to nine in Dallas"
No. 1 ranked Texas was playing for the national championship and was a decided favorite over the Bulldogs. Texas led 9-3 late in fourth quarter when once-beaten Georgia, with under four minutes remaining, chose to punt on fourth down. Texas fumbled the punt at the Longhorn 23-yard line. Georgia recovered and on third down, Bulldog quarterback John Lastinger ran 17 yards for the winning touchdown with Kevin Butler kicking the extra point. For years when someone asked for the time, a typical Georgia response became: "Not sure, but in Dallas it is 10 to nine."

Final Score: South Carolina 38, Florida State 26
Date: November 10, 1984
Site: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina
Head Coach: Joe Morrison
Black Magic Rises to No. 2
Sitting at 8-0 and ranked fifth in the country with a perfect 9-0 record, the Gamecocks faced the always powerful Seminoles of Florida State and coach Bobby Bowden. It was the general consensus that if Carolina could get past this game, they would have clear sailing to an undefeated regular season. Rising to the occasion, the Gamecocks played like contending national champs. Entering the second half with a 17-7 lead, Raynard Brown broke the back of the 11th-ranked Seminoles with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Thomas Dendy scored twice and Allen Mitchell threw two touchdown passes in an offensive effort that covered 464 total yards. "Black Magic" was alive and well and ranked second in the country, the highest ranking in school history.

Final Score: Tennessee 38, Auburn 20
Date: September 28, 1985
Site: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee
Head Coach: Johnny Majors
Tennessee took a 24-0 lead through three quarters and staved off Auburn's furious closing rally by notching two touchdowns of its own in a monumental victory over the nation's No 1-ranked team. In a battle featuring two of the most heralded backs in college football, Tennessee and quarterback Tony Robinson had the best of it against Auburn and the great running back, Bo Jackson. Robinson, despite three interceptions, riddled the Tigers' defense for four touchdowns with 17 completions on 30 passes for 259 yards. Jackson, who went to the sidelines with a sore knee in the fourth quarter, was held to 80 yards following two games in which he exceeded 200 yards. The Vols came out of the chute passing, with Robinson firing mainly to Tim McGee, but the success of the air game opened up the rushing attack. Freshmen Keith Davis ripped through the Tigers for some important first down yardage which helped the Vols maintain possession on an equal basis with the ground-oriented Tigers. Robinson was named by AP and UPI as national offensive player of the week.

Final Score: Tennessee 35, Miami (Fla) 7
Date: January 1, 1986
Site: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Head Coach: Johnny Majors
Title: "Sugar Vols"
Tennessee rang in 1986 in grand fashion, taking a 35-7 decision over the highly favored and second ranked Miami Hurricanes in the 52nd Sugar Bowl. The Vols had won the school's first SEC championship in 16 years and this victory earned the team the nickname "Sugar Vols". A crowd of 77,432 saw the Vols spot the Hurricanes an early 7-0 lead, but, after Daryl Dickey and Jeff Smith hooked up for a 6-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter, the Vols were completely in control. Tennessee took the lead late in the first half when wide receiver Tim McGee corralled a Vol fumble in the end zone. They extended their lead in the third quarter as fullback Sam Henderson scored from 1-yard out after Darrin Miller's fumble recovery gave the Vols the ball at the Miami 32. After a Miami punt, Tennessee's Jeff Powell brought Vol fans to their feet, sprinting 60 yards for another Vol touchdown. All-America defensive back Chris White intercepted Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde in the fourth quarter to set up a 6-yard scoring run by Charles Wilson. Dickey, who completed 15 of 25 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown, was named the game's outstanding player.

Final Score: Texas A&M 36, Auburn 16
Date: January 1, 1986
Site: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
Head coach: Jackie Sherrill
Title: Wrecking Crew meets Heisman Winner Bo Jackson
In 1985, Aggie head coach Jackie Sherrill led the Texas A&M football team to its first outright Southwest Conference Championship since 1967 and an appearance in the 50th Cotton Bowl Classic against the Auburn Tigers and coach Pat Dye along with Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson. The Aggies held a 21-16 lead in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers had driven 88 yards on 14 plays and appeared ready to seize the lead with a first and goal. Heisman winner Bo Jackson carried to the two-yard line on first down. On second down, linebacker Todd Howard stopped Jackson for no gain. Aggie noseguard Sammy O'Brient tripped up Jackson on third down before Jackson could get airborne. Facing a fourth-and-two, the Tigers would give it to Bo again and several Aggies of the Wrecking Crew defense including Larry Kelm and Basil Jackson stopped Jackson giving the Aggies' possession. Texas A&M would control the final frame and ended with a 36-16 victory over Auburn.

Final Score: South Carolina 20, Clemson 7
Date: November 21, 1987
Site: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina
Head Coach: Joe Morrison
Title: Edwards Intercepts Two
The Gamecocks' No. 2-ranked defense closed down Clemson's powerful running attack in a 20-7 win. Carolina, ranked 12th in the country, limited the eighth-ranked Tigers to 106 total yards of offense on 65 plays. In the final period, senior free safety Brad Edwards picked off his first of two interceptions and ran it back for a 40-yard touchdown.

Final Score: LSU 7, Auburn 6
Date: October 8, 1988
Site: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Head Coach: Mike Archer
Title: Earthquake Game
With time winding down and LSU saddled with fourth-and-10 at the Auburn 11-yard line, quarterback Tommy Hodson found running back Eddie Fuller in the back of the endzone for the game-winning touchdown as LSU stunned fourth-ranked Auburn, 7-6, in Tiger Stadium. In what is now known as the "Earthquake Game", Hodson's touchdown pass to Fuller with 1:41 left in the contest caused such a thunderous explosion from the 79,341 fans in Tiger Stadium, the LSU Department of Geology registered vibrations on a seismograph machine at the exact moment the TD was scored.

Final score: Arkansas 45, Houston 39
Date: October 28, 1989
Site: War Memorial Stadium, Little Rock, Arkansas
Head Coach: Ken Hatfield
Title: Grovey outduels Ware in offensive shootout
A shootout was brewing when Houston rolled into Little Rock with eventual Heisman-winning QB Andrew Ware. Luckily, the Razorbacks had QB Quinn Grovey, who would end the year as the first-team All-SWC quarterback over Ware. The Arkansas offense was up to the task against the Cougars' high-flying, record-setting offense with Grovey running the show. He led the Razorbacks on scoring drives of 77, 69, 78, 81, 76 and 62 yards in the win. Grovey was masterful accounting for five touchdowns with a career-best 256 yards passing and running for 79 yards to produce 335 yards for the then third-best, single-game total yards by a Razorback in history. His two-yard touchdown run with just over three minutes remaining gave Arkansas the first two score lead of the game and finished off the Cougars. The two teams combined for 1,228 yards in the game and propelled the Hogs to their second straight Southwest Conference title.

Final score: Auburn 30, Alabama 20
Date: December 2, 1989
Site: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Alabama
Head coach: Pat Dye
Title: Iron Bowl On Campus
After years of discussion, threats of litigation and political wrangling, it finally happened. On December 2, 1989, the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama was played at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. for the first time ever. Pat Dye, head coach of Auburn at the time, famously compared the event to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The absurdity of playing neutral site games at Birmingham's Legion Field-which Alabama used as a home stadium for several games per season at the time-was coming to an end, and Alabama's first visit to the Plains solidified it (even though Auburn agreed to a home game there vs. Alabama in 1991). When Auburn got to campus on game day, it became apparent that this was a big deal. Tiger Walk-the team's traditional walk from Sewell Hall to Jordan-Hare-drew an estimated crowd of 20,000 fans, many of whom had tears in their eyes. On the field, the game was a barn burner. Alabama entered undefeated and ranked No. 2, while No. 11 Auburn had dropped games to Tennessee and Florida State. Auburn scored a touchdown on its first drive but went into halftime down 10-7 to the Tide. Whatever Dye said to his Tigers, it worked. Auburn ripped off 20 straight points to take a 27-10 lead early in the fourth quarter, and then held off Alabama for a 30-20 win. The win earned Auburn a three-way split of the SEC title with Alabama and Tennessee, but that was secondary to what this game meant to the rivalry.

Moment: Hiring of Steve Spurrier as head coach
Date: December 31, 1989
Site: Gainesville, Florida
Head Coach: Steve Spurrier
Title: Spurrier Named Gator Head Coach
Summary: During his introductory press conference on New Year's Eve 1989, Spurrier said that he wanted to immediately change several things, including bringing back blue jerseys (Florida had switched from traditional blue to orange in 1979 under Charley Pell), bringing back natural grass to Florida Field (artificial turf had been installed in the early 1970s.) He stressed the need to beat traditional rivals Auburn, Georgia, and Florida State, against whom Florida had gone 0-9 over the previous three seasons. Finally, he worked to convince Gator players and fans alike that it was possible to win championships at Florida, which had still never won an officially recognized conference title in eighty-three years of football. When his 12-year run at the helm of the Gators ended when he accepted a job coaching in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, he had led the Gators to the school's first-ever national championship, six SEC titles and posted an amazing 122-27-1 record, including 11-1 vs. Georgia.