In college football, there are bitter, in-state rivalries, and then there is the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama. This rivalry stands out from the pack as being special, even compared to the most bitter rivalries in the game. More importantly, it almost always seems to deliver incredible games and great individual performances. While the games are memorable, we thought we’d run down some of the most epic performances by a player in Iron Bowl history.
David Langner (1972)
Langner has largely been forgotten, but he played a pivotal role in one of the closest and most intriguing Iron Bowl games. He returned not one, but two blocked punts for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to help Auburn erase a 16-0 deficit to win the Iron Bowl 17-16.
Of course, Bill Newton deserves some of the credit for blocking both punts. However, Langner also stands out because he had two interceptions in the game, including one late in the fourth quarter to seal the game with the Crimson Tide driving for the game-winning field goal.
Derrick Henry (2015)
If Henry hadn’t done enough to lock up the Heisman Trophy before the Iron Bowl, there was no doubt he was going to win the award after the Iron Bowl. He took the ball 46 times, racking up 271 rushing yards.
Henry’s efforts helped the Crimson Tide beat Auburn 29-13 on their way to winning the national championship.
Shaun Alexander (1999)
Alexander almost single-handedly delivered a win for the Crimson Tide in the 1999 Iron Bowl. The Tide trailed 14-8 heading into the fourth quarter, only for Alexander to score three touchdowns in the final 15 minutes while finishing the game with 182 rushing yards, most of which came in the second half.
This was also the first time Alabama won in Auburn after four previous trips to Jordan-Hare Stadium were unsuccessful.
Bo Jackson (1983)
This wasn’t the only time Bo made his presence felt during the Iron Bowl, but this was probably his finest performance against Alabama. After scoring the game-winning touchdown for the Tigers as a freshman the previous year, Jackson racked up 256 rushing yards, including touchdown runs of 69 and 71 yards.
Behind Jackson’s performance, the Tigers won the Iron Bowl 23-20, securing an undefeated SEC record and a Sugar Bowl bid.
Cam Newton (2010)
Sorry Alabama fans, but you had to know this guy was going to make our list. The Crimson Tide jumped out to a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter in the 2010 Iron Bowl, as the Tide was hoping to spoil Auburn’s undefeated season. But then Newton and the Tigers woke up.
Newton had three passing touchdowns, including a 70-yard pass to Terrell Zachery on the second play of the second half, and one rushing touchdown. While the Auburn defense played its part in the second half, Newton carried the Tigers to victory, keeping Auburn undefeated in a season that ultimately ended with a national championship.