Classic SEC Football: Alabama Tops Auburn in 1967 in Stabler's 'Run in the Mud'

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterMay 25, 2012

Former Alabama quarterback Ken Stabler / Image courtesy:
Former Alabama quarterback Ken Stabler / Image courtesy:

Every Friday, The SEC Blog will feature one classic game from the storied history of SEC football.

The Iron Bowl is one of the nation's fiercest rivalries. Some argue that the state championship game between Auburn and Alabama is the most important game in the state every year—even in years in which one of the participants is national championship-bound.

The 1967 edition of the Iron Bowl featured No. 8 Alabama, which entered the game with a 7-1-1 record, and an Auburn team that was 6-3 after losses to Tennessee, Miami (Fla.) and Georgia.

Played at Legion Field in Birmingham, this was the first night game in Iron Bowl history. The teams and fans were greeted with a torrential downpour, which turned the playing surface into a quagmire. 

Auburn was stopped inside the 5-yard line twice by the stingy Alabama defense, and the two teams went into halftime tied at zero.

The Tigers held Alabama on the first Crimson Tide drive of the second half, and a 16-yard punt gave Auburn the ball at the Tide 40-yard line. A short Tiger drive resulted in a 37-yard field goal by John Riley to give Auburn a 3-0 lead.

The Tigers held that lead until early in the fourth quarter, when Crimson Tide quarterback Kenny Stabler made history.

With rain cascading from the sky, Stabler took off on an option from his own 47-yard line. Stabler weaved through defenders and outraced the Auburn defense through the mud to the pylon to score and give the Tide the 7-3 win.

Stabler's run earned the game the nickname "The Run In The Mud."