Auburn shocked the college football world with its spectacular game-winning play in a 43-38 victory over Georgia last Saturday.
Not only is it an early favorite for best play of the season, but it also kept the Tigers’ SEC title hopes alive.
Thanks to head coach Gus Malzahn’s appearance on the SEC teleconference on Wednesday afternoon, we now know the name of the infamous play:
Auburn's GW play was called "Little Rock," and Gus Malzahn says "yeah, but don't tell anybody."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) November 20, 2013
For those with short-term memory, here is the play that sent Auburn fans into fits of jubilation and extended the misery of Bulldogs fans:
At first glance, it seemed to be nothing more than your regular Hail Mary—a play that entails wide receivers darting up the field while the quarterback sits back and launches a bomb downfield, hoping one of his teammates comes down with the ball.
However, as quarterback Nick Marshall said in his postgame interview, this is a play the team has talked about and practiced before.
In fact, it’s a play that has brought Malzahn tremendous success in years past:
Malzahn on the game-winning play being called "Little Rock". Says they put it in and it "happened to get us in the state championship" in HS— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) November 20, 2013
I know Gus Malzahn ran "Little Rock" while at Shiloh Christian in the state championship game against Hector.— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) November 20, 2013
That game in question was the 1998 Arkansas Class 2A State Championship—a game Shiloh Christian won 49-14. The team was 15-0 on the year while setting a national record with 66 passing touchdowns.
Malzahn would go on to lead the Saints to another title the following year and picked up an additional championship with Springdale High School in 2005.
Over the summer, Malzahn was inducted into Arkansas’ high school Hall of Fame.
While there’s no doubt a lot of credit should be given to the Tigers and Malzahn for drawing up and executing "Little Rock" to perfection, it’s going to take a lot more than one trick play to derail their next opponent: No. 1 Alabama.
The two teams face off at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Nov. 30.