Now back to 1992. After narrowly escaping Roy Kramer’s first brain child (the second being the BCS system), Alabama came in as heavy underdogs against what many believed to be an unbeatable Miami Hurricanes lead by Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta.
The Canes were extremely talented and not shy about saying so. The game’s festive atmosphere in the party city of New Orleans just added fuel to the fire, and Hurricane players were constantly boasting about the lack of talent for the opposition, primarily led by receiver Lamar Thomas.
According to Thomas, the Tide defensive backs were slow and there was no way they could run with him.
With Bama leading 27-6 in the third quarter, Torretta hit Thomas for what appeared to be an 88-yard touchdown pass. Ironically, George Teague had blown a coverage to allow Thomas to be wide open on the play. The situation lead to what may be the greatest moment in Tide history.
It may have been adrenaline. It may have been the cheering crowd. It may have been the fear of having to sit next to John Copeland and Eric Curry after blowing a coverage on a big play.
Whatever it was, George Teague looked as though he had been shot out of a cannon as he raced down the Canes self proclaimed uncatchable receiver.
To make matters worse for Thomas, Teague wasn’t merely content to make the touchdown-saving tackle as he man handled the ball away from Thomas and took it back the other way.
Because of a penalty, the play ended up not even counting, but never the less at that moment, Miami was officially done and the Tide were on their way to a 12th national championship.
Kind of funny that the greatest play in Bama history was a five yard off sides penalty.