On Auburn's next possession Wright hauled in a 60-yarder from Slack, despite having been knocked out of bounds by Tide cornerback Efrum Thomas while running the route. The play set up the first of Win Lyle's three field goals. In high school Wright was a track star who played only one year of football, but Auburn offered him a football scholarship because of his 4.3 speed in the 40. Wright needed some time to hone his hands and to tame his feet, but now, as a senior, he says, "I'm an Auburn receiver. I hope I proved that today."
Behind the blasts of tailback Stacy Danley, who gained 130 yards on 28 carries, the Tigers increased their lead to 27-10 in the fourth quarter before Hollingsworth guided the Tide to two quick scores to cut the deficit to 27-20 with 1:49 to play. Though Alabama's rally fell short, those scores probably preserved its trip to New Orleans. Had Auburn won by two touchdowns or more, the Sugar Bowl committee might have taken Tennessee instead. As it is, the Volunteers will play Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, and Auburn will take on Ohio State in the Hall of Fame.
However, what may or may not happen on Jan. 1 was of no concern to anyone in Alabama last Saturday, because for the first time ever, the state championship resided not only with Auburn but at Auburn as well.