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Sports Then and Now



College Football Classic Rewind: Tide’s Missed Kicks Give Victory to ‘Hogs 91

Posted on September 19, 2011 by A.J. Foss

To fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide, the last name “Tiffin” is considered as royalty because that is the last name of former kicker Van Tiffin, who made a 52-yard field goal as time expired to give ‘Bama a 25-23 victory over arch rival Auburn in the 1985 “Iron Bowl”.

But after the Tide’s 2006 game with the Arkansas Razorbacks, most Alabama fans probably cringed when they heard the last name “Tiffin”.

Alabama entered the game with a 3-0 record and a #22 ranking as they traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas for their first road game of the season.

The Tide were under the direction of head coach Mike Shula, who was in his fourth season as the Tide head coach and was coming off a 10-2 season the year before.

Alabama had 13 starters back from that team including running back Kenneth Darby and kicker Jamie Christensen, who made three game-winning field goals for the Tide in 2005.

But right before the start of the regular season, Christensen pulled a groin muscle and would be out of action for the first few games of the season.

That left the job to freshman walk-on Leigh Tiffin, son of ‘Bama hero Van Tiffin, to take the reins of the field goal kicker.

Tiffin filled the role quite nicely in the Tide’s first three game as he made seven out of nine field goal attempts, including a 47-yard game-winning field goal against Vanderbilt in the second game of the season.

While it seemed the future looked bright for Shula, the future was uncertain for Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt as he was coming off two losing seasons in Fayetteville and was on the hot seat as the 2006 season began.

But there was hope for the ‘Hogs in ’06, as a new offensive coordinator and the running back duo of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, gave optimisms’ that Arkansas would rebound with a winning season.

However, after a 50-14 loss to USC in the season opener and unimpressive wins against Utah State and Vanderbilt, Nutt was in need of a victory against the Tide.

Both teams traded punts until the Razorbacks’ second possession when Arkansas took over in ‘Bama territory and drove 30 yards in 10 plays, with McFadden carry it six times for 25 yards. Read the rest of this entry →

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