Flashback Friday: Cody’s Blocked Field Goals Keep Perfect Season Alive [VIDEO]
Years before Lane Kiffin became Alabama's offensive coordinator, he was the head coach at Tennessee.
That lone season in Knoxville, in 2009, also happened to provide for one of the more memorable games in the storied history of the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry.
For Alabama's sake, Terrence Cody is the reason for that.
Alabama, which had returned to national prominence a year ago, was ranked No. 1 and vying to remain undefeated on the year. The Crimson Tide was well on its way to accomplishing that until a late Tennessee comeback almost put an end to it all.
After a three-and-out forced a Tennessee punt with 5:21 to go, the Crimson Tide needed only to run off clock leading comfortably up 12-3. But then doing something he had never done in his previous 322 touches to begin his career, running back Mark Ingram fumbled.
All-American safety Eric Berry, who had also forced the fumble on the play, recovered the loose football at the Alabama 43-yard line with 3:29 remaining. Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton took a sack for a loss of seven yards on first down but then connected on all four of his pass attempts for 42 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to just 12-10 with 1:19 left.
Tennessee then recovered the ensuing onside kick at their own 41, allowing for one last chance opportunity to steal the win. As he had on the previous drive, Crompton had success moving the ball through the passing game, setting up for the Volunteers’ final play.
Third and 11. Alabama’s 28-yard line. Four seconds left on the clock. Only a Daniel Lincoln 44-yard field goal away from knocking off top-ranked Alabama.
For the second time in the fourth quarter, Cody, Alabama's nose tackle nicknamed “Mount Cody” due to his massive frame, prevented Lincoln’s field goal attempt from making it past the line of scrimmage, sparing Alabama from defeat in a 12-10 victory.
Thanks largely to his two blocks, Alabama was able to finish the season with a perfect 14-0 record that was topped off by the school’s 13th national championship and first under coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide then won its 14th and 15th national championships in 2011 and 2012, creating what many consider to be a football dynasty.
Kiffin won four out of his next five games with the Vols before losing in the team’s bowl game that year to finish at 7-6 (4-4 SEC). From there, he spent the next four seasons as head coach at USC until an abrupt firing during the 2013 season left him without a job. Kiffin was hired as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator on January 10.
Saturday's game in Knoxville will be Kiffin's first against his former school since leaving to take the USC job.
Watch videos of the blocked kicks below: