Auburn, Ala.--Ricardo Louis put things in perspective when asked about Auburn’s winless SEC season at home with losses to Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama.
“Right now everybody is hurting because we just lost the Iron Bowl,” said Louis who ended his Auburn career in Saturday’s 29-13 loss to Alabama, ranked number two in the nation and headed to Atlanta next week as the SEC West Champion.
The Tigers struggled to a 6-6 record this year after high preseason expectations, including being selected to win the league championship at SEC Media Days.
Louis caught only one pass for 24 yards against Alabama. He’s 11th in Auburn history in career receptions with 95 and 15th with 1,322 receiving yards. He did add four rushes for 24 yards against the Crimson Tide.
“We needed to try to get the ball down field in the second half,” Louis said. “Kicking field goals all the time is not going to win games.”
Louis was referring to two field goals by Daniel Carlson in the first half as the Tigers trailed 9-6 after limiting Alabama to three field goals the first 30 minutes.
“We’ve been inconsistent all year,” Louis said in frustration. “That’s the main thing. Every part, especially on offense, we just haven’t been consistent.”
Auburn did have one big play in the passing game when Jeremy Johnson threw long to Jason Smith who tipped the ball to himself between two Alabama defenders and raced 77 yards to the end zone. It was reminiscent of Louis’ “Prayer in Jordan-Hare” against Georgia in 2013.
“As soon as it happened I was thinking about it. Everybody was like ‘Oh! Ricardo Louis 2.0!’ He just made a good play. I think his was probably better than mine. You know, great focus. He did a good job of just reeling it in for the touchdown.
The Miami, Fla., native and his fellow seniors have a bowl game remaining that will end their careers.
“We are going to a bowl game and have to go with the mindset we expect to win,” he says. “Bowl practice will make us a better team. They (Auburn) will be competitive next year and the defense will be great.
“I’m glad we have a game left. I love to play football and I love Auburn. I love to play football for Auburn. At the end of the day, you have to end it sometime.”
In other news and notes:
*Jovon Robinson’s 20-yard screen pass reception from Jeremy Johnson on Auburn’s second field goal drive was his first catch of the season.
*Smith’s 77-yard pass he tipped to himself for a touchdown is the longest scoring pass of the season for the Tigers and the longest pass completion of Johnson’s career. It was Johnson’s ninth TD pass of the season and 19th of his career. Smith recorded his first touchdown as a Tiger with the catch that tied for the 19th longest completion all-time at Auburn. The previous longest pass of the season was a touchdown from Johnson to Roc Thomas that covered 56 yards against Jacksonville State.
*Smith’s 82 yards receiving was his single game high.
*Peyton Barber is 24 yards short of a 1,000 yards rushing after eight carries for 29 yards against the Crimson Tide. He has a bowl game to add to his 976-yard total.
*Saturday was the final home game for the 17 Auburn seniors who were recognized in a pre-game ceremony. Honored were Blake Countess, Xavier Dampeer, Devonte Danzey, Kenny Flowers, Kris Frost, Justin Garrett, Keymiya Harrell, Jonathan Jones, DaVonte Lambert, Ricardo Louis, Duncan McKinney, Cassanova McKinzy, Daniel Pond, Melvin Ray, Lawyer Tillman, Tucker Tuberville and Jonathan Wallace.
*The seniors served as captains for Auburn. DaVonte Lambert, Blake Countess and Jonathan Wallace handled the toss. Alabama won the toss and elected to defer until the second half with Auburn choosing to receive.
*With the of 87,451 Auburn has now played in front of 27 consecutive regular-season sellout games both at home and on the road. The last regular season non-sellout was in 2013 at Tennessee. This is the 16th consecutive sellout at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
*After Saturday’s win Alabama owns a 44-35-1 lead in the 80-game series. The Tigers have 15-8 record in games played on the two campuses after being moved from Legion Field in Birmingham.