Alternate History

Manning Miracle (Napoleon's World)

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The Manning Miracle refers to the 1995 Alabama-Tennessee rivalry game on September 30, 1995 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at Wallace-Denny Stadium. Tennessee, ranked No. 15, was 3-1 coming into the game after losing at home to No. 3 LSU the weekened prior. Alabama, at 2-2, was unranked. The Tide jumped out to an early 17-0 lead with three consecutive scoring drives, and aided by three Tennessee turnovers went into halftime leading comfortably at 27-0. Led by sophomore quarterback Peyton Manning, the Volunteers surged back, scoring four unanswered touchdowns to jump out to a 28-27 lead. Although Alabama would kick a field goal to lead 30-28 briefly in the fourth quarter, Manning led the Volunteers down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Montell McGee with :17 seconds remaining.

It is regarded as the single most significant win in the storied history of the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry, is seen as the signature win of Manning's time as quarterback and of the Judge Long era as a whole, and was regarded as instrumental in bringing about the end of Alabama head coach Gary Gessey's tenure in Tuscaloosa. The Volunteers surged the rest of the season, ending the regular season as SouthCo champions and ranked No. 2, losing to Massachusetts in the title game. Alabama stumbled to 4-8, their third of seven consecutive losing seasons (the only such stretch in Tide history).

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