Think back over the past decade of SEC football. What are the plays that defined those 10 years?
Where do Auburn’s Kick-Six and Prayer at Jordan-Hare rank on the list? What about Matt Flynn’s last-second touchdown pass to Demetrius Byrd to give eventual BCS champion LSU a win over Auburn in 2007? Or any assortment of highlight-reel plays by Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow and Cam Newton?
Our SEC writers put their heads together and came up with a list of the 25 most iconic plays in the past decade of SEC football. On Monday, we looked at plays 25-21. Today, we continue the series with plays 16-20.
16. Tim Tebow's jump-pass touchdown against LSU: This might have been where the legend began. Tebow, a freshman at the time, had really only been used as a runner to that point in his career. He had attempted just three passes in three previous SEC games, so when he came in the game on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, everybody in the stadium expected the Florida quarterback to try and run it in. Instead, Tebow faked as if he was going to run it, jumped in the air and threw it to a wide-open Tate Casey for a touchdown.
17. Ole Miss stops Tebow on 4th-and-short: Short-yardage situations were almost automatic for Florida with Tebow on the field. That’s why it was so stunning that Ole Miss stuffed the Heisman Trophy winner on 4th-and-short in the final minute to preserve a 31-30 win over the No. 4 Gators. The play itself was one of the low points in Tebow’s career, but if not for the stop, then Tebow would have never made his famous post-game apology. And without that, who knows if Florida would have won the national championship?
18. Jarvis Moss' blocked field goal against South Carolina: Some Florida fans might disagree, but it’s hard to find a moment in which the Swamp was any louder. When Moss blocked that kick at the end of the game, the place erupted. And why not? It was Steve Spurrier’s first time back as an opposing coach, and had the field goal been good, it would’ve knocked the Gators out of a title race that they ultimately finished as national champs. Moss also blocked an extra point earlier in the game, which proved pivotal in Florida’s 17-16 win over the Gamecocks.
19. Tyrann Mathieu's punt return touchdown against Georgia: It was the 2011 SEC championship game, and LSU trailed 10-0 midway through the second quarter. The Tigers needed a spark or else their undefeated season and spot in the BCS title game would go up in flames. So the Honey Badger took it into his own hands. After a booming punt, Mathieu juked the first defender. He went right, split two more defenders, and then was off to the races; he had a wall of blockers in front of him. He went 62 yards for the touchdown, his fourth of the season, and LSU went on to rout the Bulldogs, 42-10.
20. Eric Reid's goal-line interception against Alabama: It’s only fitting that the most iconic play from the 2011 Alabama-LSU game came on defense. Reid started on the opposite side of Alabama tight end Michael Williams, but when he saw Williams streaking wide open up the seam, he chased him down, went up for the ball and stole it away as the two came down. Had Williams caught it, the Crimson Tide would have likely scored on the next play. Instead, no touchdowns were scored and LSU won in overtime, 9-6.