Part 2, UW 34, AU 31: News, Notes & Quotes

Comments from C.J. Uzomah and Gus Malzahn are featured following Auburn's overtime football loss to Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl.

Tampa, Fla.--Senior tight end C.J. Uzomah said as disappointing as Auburn’s 2014 season was with eight wins and five losses, he will look back fondly on his senior year with the Tigers.

“I don’t think the football aspect of it is what I will remember,” he said. “It is going to be the brotherhood bond that we forged together. There is no other group of guys I would rather play beside.

“Our senior class, we have been through a lot,” he noted. “We have been through a lot of ups and downs. We had our fair share of ups. This season didn’t go the way we wanted to, but at the same time we enjoyed the ride and that is what it is about. That is what I will probably remember the most.”

In his final college game Uzomah gave the Tigers a chance to win by making a 20-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter of Auburn’s 34-31 overtime loss to Wisconsin.

“It was a double-move,” he said of the pass from Nick Marshall. “The guy was kind of jammed up on me. Nick made a great throw. He got clocked, but he put the ball in a position for me to make a play and I kind of dove and stretched out and caught it.”

The Tigers ended the day at Raymond James Stadium losing when Daniel Carlson’s 45-yard field goal to set up a second overtime hit the upright and was no good.

“I told him to keep his head up,” Uzomah said. “He is going to have a heck of a career. I told him I still love him. He will be fine.”

Uzomah said that he sees bright days ahead for the Tigers. “The team’s potential is limitless,” he said of the 2015 group. “We are losing a lot of good players, but there are a lot of good players coming back.”

Uzomah said the receiver corps is going to be better than a lot of people suspect and predicted that quarterback Jeremy Johnson will be ready to take over for Marshall and be the best quarterback in the SEC. He also said the offensive line should be strong and noted, “Our running backs, no matter what, are going to be studs.”

In other news and notes:

*Melvin Gordon’s 251 yards rushing were the most ever allowed to an Auburn opponent, topping the previous high of 241 set by Fred Talley of Arkansas in 2002. In his postgame remarks Coach Gus Malzahn mentioned several times that he expects new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will fix the Tigers’ problems on that side of the ball and Auburn will feature a strong defense next season.

*Auburn’s last overtime game was a 31-28 win against Louisiana-Monroe in 2012 at Jordan-Hare Stadium; Auburn’s last Outback Bowl appearance was a 38-35 overtime win vs. Northwestern. The Tigers have a 7-6 all-time mark in overtime contests.

*True freshman Braden Smith made his first college start at right tackle although Patrick Miller played most of the game at the position.

*Malzahn had praise for Marshall. “I thought Nick did some good things. Their plan was to keep him from running the football. Their ends were soft and they were making us give it, and we figured that would be a possibility, but Nick made some good throws. The throw to Ricardo (Louis) and the throw to C.J. (Uzomah) were extremely good throws.”

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