1970 Auburn Tigers football team

1970 Auburn Tigers football
Gator Bowl Champions
Gator Bowl, W 35–28 vs. Ole Miss
Conference Southeastern Conference
1970 record 9–2 (5–2 SEC)
Head coach Ralph Jordan
Home stadium Cliff Hare Stadium
1970 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#7 LSU 5 0 0     9 3 0
#4 Tennessee 4 1 0     11 1 0
#10 Auburn 5 2 0     9 2 0
#20 Ole Miss 4 2 0     7 4 0
Florida 3 3 0     7 4 0
Georgia 3 3 0     5 5 0
Alabama 3 4 0     6 5 1
Mississippi State 3 4 0     6 5 0
Vanderbilt 1 5 0     4 7 0
Kentucky 0 7 0     2 9 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1970 Auburn Tigers football team under the leadership of coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan completed the regular season with a record of 8–2. Auburn went on to the Gator Bowl against Ole Miss by a score of 35–28. They completed the season with a record of 9–2 and were ranked #20 in the AP poll and #15 in the UPI.[1]

The Tigers broke the SEC record for total yards for the regular season up to that point with 4,850, exceeding the previous record of 4,725 yards set by the 1942 Georgia Bulldogs. They had 1,965 yards rushing and 2,885 yards passing."[2]


Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result Attendance
September 19, 1970 Southern Miss* Cliff Hare StadiumAuburn, AL W 33–14   48,500
September 26, 1970 #17 Tennessee Legion FieldBirmingham, AL W 36–23   65,306
October 3, 1970 at Kentucky #12 Stoll FieldLexington, KY W 33–15   37,500
October 10, 1970 at Clemson* #9 Memorial StadiumClemson, SC W 44–0   41,202
October 17, 1970 #16 Georgia Tech* #8 Cliff Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL W 31–7   62,391
October 24, 1970 #14 LSU #6 Cliff Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL (Tiger Bowl) L 9–17   62,392
October 31, 1970 Florida #12 Florida FieldGainesville, FL (Rivalry) W 63–14   62,560
November 7, 1970 Mississippi State #10 Legion Field • Birmingham, AL W 56–0   45,000
November 14, 1970 Georgia #8 Cliff Hare Stadium • Auburn, AL (Deep South's Oldest Rivalry) L 17–31   61,791
November 28, 1970 vs. Alabama #11 Legion Field • Birmingham, AL (Iron Bowl) W 33–28   71,774
January 1, 1971 vs. Ole Miss #10 Gator Bowl StadiumJacksonville, FL (Gator Bowl) W 35–28   71,136
*Non-conference game.

Game summaries


The first big test of the season came against Tennessee in Birmingham, AL. Tennessee came in ranked #17 in the country and Auburn was not ranked. Auburn overcame a 10–0 deficit to win 36–23. It was the only loss for Tennessee and cost them the SEC championship.[4]


In a rivalry known for frequent close games, this one wasn't. It was the worst defeat for either side since 1917, when Auburn won 68–0. Pat Sullivan completed 21 of 27 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns with three of them caught by Terry Beasley in the 63–14 drubbing.[5] It was also Florida's homecoming game.[6] It marked Auburn's fourth victory in a row against the Gators.

Tiger Bowl (LSU)

Auburn's first loss of the season came against LSU. LSU did not lose to any SEC team that year and won the SEC Championship. They did not have to play Tennessee.

Iron Bowl (Alabama)

Alabama scored first on an 80-yard touchdown drive 3:17 into the game; then drove 70 yards to add another. After a pair of turnovers, another drive of 71 yards stalled at the 9 and they added a field goal to take the lead 17–0. Auburn finally scored midway through the second half with a touchdown and added a field goal to make it 17–10 at the half. They would then tie the game at 17 midway through the third. Alabama added a field goal at the beginning of the 4th quarter and Auburn answered tying the game again. Auburn then took the lead 27–20 and the Tide answered with a two-point conversion to take the lead by one. With 3:56 left to go in the game, Wallace Clark dove in for a touchdown from the three giving Auburn the lead by 6. Pat Sullivan threw the two-pointer to Terry Beasley, but the play was nullified by illegal motion and the subsequent attempt was intercepted. Alabama was unable to score again and Auburn won 33–28.[7]

Johnny Musso had over 200 yards rushing for the Tide and Pat Sullivan was 22 of 38 passing with 317 yards for Auburn.[7]

Gator Bowl

In an unusual matchup between two teams from the same conference, Auburn met Ole Miss in the Gator Bowl. (The two teams did not meet during the regular season.) It was a matchup between two top quarterbacks, Pat Sullivan for Auburn and Archie Manning for the University of Mississippi. Archie Manning was recovering from a broken arm suffered on November 7, yet played against LSU a month later with his arm.[2] Auburn won 35–28. Coach Jordan was unable to attend the game.[8]

Awards and honors

SEC Most Valuable Player: Pat Sullivan (QB)[3]

SEC Back of the Year–Birmingham QB Club: Pat Sullivan (QB)[3]

SEC Back of the Year–Atlanta TD Club: Pat Sullivan (QB)[3]

All-Americans: Pat Sullivan (QB), Terry Beasley (SE), Larry Willingham(DB)[3]

All-SEC first team: Pat Sullivan (QB), Terry Beasley (SE), Gardner Jett (SP), Larry Willingham (DB), Bobby Strickland (LB)[3]


  1. ^ 2011 Auburn Tigers Football Media Guide, Auburn University Athletic Department, Auburn, Alabama, p. 184 (2011). Retrieved August 19, 2011
  2. ^ a b Auburn Tigers set new team offensive record in SEC1970 Rome News–Tribune, Sunday 13, 1970 p. 8-C.
  3. ^ a b c d e f 2005 Auburn Tigers Football Media Guide, Auburn University Athletic Department, Auburn, Alabama, pp. 142, 178–180 (2005). Retrieved August 19, 2011
  4. ^ Notable AU/UT games auburnfootballfanforum.com. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  5. ^ Florida Routed Again; Alabama Wins 35–6 Milwaukee Journal, November 1, 1970, p. 6. Retrieved August 22, 2011
  6. ^ Auburn Tabbed To Spoil Gators' Homecoming Sarasota Herald-Tribune, October 31, 1970, p. 1-C. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  7. ^ a b With 23 Points in the Last Half, Auburn Rallies to Down Tide Florence Times–Tri Cities Daily, December 29, 1970, pp. 17–18. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  8. ^ Auburn, Alabama To Record Wins: Gator Bowl Florence Times–Tri Cities Daily, December 30, 1970, p. 12. Retrieved August 22, 2011.",
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