Pat Sullivan - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

November 16, 2001 6:30 p.m.

Pat Sullivan

< P> One of the great Iron Bowl stories, and there must be a million of them, is that of Pat Sullivan and the Heisman Trophy. 

It all happened during Iron Bowl week.   Many believe that Sullivan won the Heisman off his performance in the Georgia game.  The year was 1971, Auburn and Georgia collided in Athens.  Both teams were unbeaten and highly ranked.  Auburn had the daunting task of having to beat undefeated Georgia and then unbeaten Alabama, to finish their own unbeaten season and gain a shot at the national championship.

Only a few dreamed that the Heisman Trophy would join this incredible mix of circumstances. Pat Sullivan played the game of his life against Georgia tossing four touchdown passes - two to Dick Smaultz and two to the fantastic All-American, Terry Beasley.

"There were people hanging all over the railroad trussells, up a tree, across the bridge, I mean they were everywhere in every nook and cranny and the electricity...  The Alabama -Auburn game is such an electrifying atmosphere, but I really think...that was the most electric atmosphere we'd ever been in," remembers Sullivan.

On Thanksgiving night, two days before the battle of unbeatens in the Iron bowl, ABC TV announced Pat Sullivan as the winner of the 1971 Heisman Trophy.

"After the people from ABC called and we talked to them, we go over to the coliseum.  And it's probably as heart felt a thing as I can remember because I knew that I won that because of the teammates and the coaches.  It wasn't me.  We stayed there till 11 or 12 O'Clock ...The next morning we had to get on the bus around 11:00 a.m. to go to Alabama.  Alabama had a great football team.  I know personally I didn't play as well as I'd played in the past, not to take anything away from Alabama.  I remember saying, 'I've known the thrill of victory, now I know the agony of defeat," opined Sullivan.

Saturday night one of the two teams, Auburn or Alabama, will know how Pat Sullivan felt in 1971.

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