How the Iron Bowl’s longest streaks came to an end

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - On Nov. 27, 1982, Bo Jackson went over the top on fourth down and Auburn beat Alabama 23-22 in Birmingham.

It ended the longest winning streak in Iron Bowl history. The Tide had won nine-straight games until that day.

On Nov. 27, 1982, Bo Jackson went over the top on fourth down and Auburn beat Alabama 23-22 in Birmingham.
On Nov. 27, 1982, Bo Jackson went over the top on fourth down and Auburn beat Alabama 23-22 in Birmingham. (Source: Auburn Athletics)

“It was a wonderful feeling when coach [Pat] Dye brought us back out on the field after the game, and the field was covered with our fans. They were everywhere. You couldn’t even see the turf. They had torn the goal post down. Thirty-five years ago you didn’t do that unless it was off the charts special,” said former Auburn quarterback Randy Campbell.

Campbell was Auburn's starting quarterback in 1982, and while Bo stole the show, Campbell jokes the headlines were a yard shy from being about him.

Randy Campbell was Auburn's starting quarterback in 1982.
Randy Campbell was Auburn's starting quarterback in 1982. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“I remember on third and goal from the 10, I threw a swing pass to Bo, and he ran down to the one foot line. That’s how we ended up at fourth and a foot. I tease Bo all the time, you know if you would have scored on third down, the Birmingham news would have said Campbell throws winning touchdown pass to beat Alabama for first time in 10 years,” Campbell said.

It was the third Iron Bowl decided by one point, and Auburn’s first win since the “Punt Bama Punt” game in 1972.

"I think winning the game against Alabama is '82 really gave us the confidence going into the next year in '83. We went 11-1. We won the SEC Championship for the first time since 1957. The New York Times presented us with the National Championship. At the time we didn't think too much about that. But it's in the NCAA record book," Campbell said.

From 2002 through 2007 it was Auburn’s turn to streak. The Tigers won six-straight Iron Bowls until Nov. 29, 2008.

Nick Saban’s second year in Tuscaloosa, Alabama halted Auburn’s run with a 36-0 win.

"We kind of just took a different mindset. Kind of just tried to take what has happened in the past, let's stop trying to make this a big game. We know we're a better team than this opponent," said former Alabama tight end Nick Walker.

Walker was Alabama's senior starting tight end and second leading receiver in 2008. He says Nick Saban changed the mindset heading into a big game.

Nick Walker was Alabama's senior starting tight end and second leading receiver in 2008.
Nick Walker was Alabama's senior starting tight end and second leading receiver in 2008. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“He was big on not looking through the straw. sometimes people get tunnel vision. He just didn’t want us to get caught up in the hype,” Walker said.

Since that 2008 Auburn Bowl, Bama has won six of the last nine over Auburn and gone on to win five national titles under coach Saban.

Walker gets a laugh saying the 2008 crew started it all.

“For all the fans out there, I want them to know we started this winning thing, and it started in 2008 when we started buying in to what Saban was selling. He knows how to recruit. He knows how to develop the player and he knows how to make them buy in to what he’s selling,” Walker said.

Nick Saban's second year in Tuscaloosa Alabama halted Auburn's run with a 36-0 win on Nov. 29, 2008.
Nick Saban's second year in Tuscaloosa Alabama halted Auburn's run with a 36-0 win on Nov. 29, 2008. (Source: Raycom News Network)

The 83rd edition of the Iron Bowl kicks off at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday from Tuscaloosa.

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