The senior running back finished the Outback Bowl game with 126 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and caught a pass for 18 yards.
“In the second half we picked up it tremendously,” he said of the Auburn attack. “The offensive line got a feel for what they were doing and they created some gaps for us.”
Artis-Payne finished his career with 2,218 rushing yards, which is 14th in Auburn history as he passed Kenny Irons, who ran for 2,186 for 2005-06.
The running back finished his senior year with 1,608 rushing yards, third on AU’s single-season list.
Artis-Payne said he expects better days for the Tigers next season. “They have a bright, bright future. I don’t see them losing five games. I don’t even see them losing two, honestly.
“They have an early Heisman candidate in Jeremy Johnson,” he said. “The future is definitely bright. There is a lot of young talent.”
Artis-Payne is hoping he will get a chance to play on Sundays next season. “The prospect of being an NFL player is an honor,” he said, noting that he hasn’t decided where he will training in preparation for the NFL Draft.In other news and notes:
*Artis-Payne’s two touchdown runs vs. the Badgers five him 13 for the season and 19 in his two seasons as a Tiger.
*The 66-yard touchdown pass from Nick Marshall to Ricardo Louis was the longest reception by Louis this season and the second-longest completion by Marshall this season. It was Louis’ fifth career receiving TD and his third of his junior season.
*Marshall finished with 33 career passing touchdowns with 20 for the season, the third highest total for an AU season. He topped the 200-yard mark for passing for the 12th time and also threw more than one touchdown pass for the 12th time as a Tiger.
*Daniel Carlson’s previous long field goal was 46 yards before hitting a 51-yarder vs. the Badgers. He scored 111 points, which ties him with NFL rookie Cody Parkey for the second most in an Auburn season.
*Jermaine Whitehead got his fifth and sixth interceptions of the season to finish with nine for his career. He also had interceptions this season against Arkansas, San José State, Texas A&M and Alabama.
*As a team the Tigers intercepted 22 passes for the season and for the first time since 1973 there were two players with six each with Jonathan Jones also getting a half-dozen picks. In 1973 Roger Mitchell and Jim McKinney each intercepted six passes.
*Auburn’s bowl record dropped to 22-15-2 overall with a 2-1 mark in overtime games.