Tony Stevens (above) had plenty to smile about Saturday night.
Auburn, Ala.--It has been a long time since Auburn won a home SEC football game dating back to 2014 as the streak had reached six straight conference losses before Saturday’s 18-13 win over LSU.
Senior wide receiver Tony Stevens has felt the pain.
“This was a very emotional win for everybody,” said Stevens, who caught four passes for 58 yards against LSU. “We want so bad to win to get that ‘L’ off our back. Now, we’ve got some momentum and were are going to carry it all the way to the top at the end of the season.”
Stevens has 17 catches for 235 yards this season, surpassing his 14 catches for the most in a season prior to this year.
Stevens said he believes he just missed a touchdown reception on a night when Auburn couldn’t get into the end zone and had to depend on six Daniel Carlson field goals for all its points. It was a 24-yard pass from Sean White in the third quarter.
“The linebacker slightly tipped the ball,” Stevens said. “I adjusted and lost my footing. If I hadn’t lost my balance, I believe I would have scored.
“I believe Sean White played his best game of the season,” Stevens added. “He played phenomenally in using good judgment in deciding where to throw the ball.”
Like most offensive players, Stevens was disappointed that the Tigers couldn’t produce touchdowns.
“We still managed to get a very important win against a ranked team,” he said. “I have to take my hats off to the LSU defense. That was a good defense.”
The unusual ending preserved the Auburn win when an LSU touchdown was taken off the board because the clock had run out before the final snap.
“That was the longest 45 seconds that seemed like two minutes and 45 seconds before the touchdown was ruled no good,” Stevens said. “I was heartbroken at first. I was thinking we can’t lose like this. Then I heard people say ‘he didn’t snap the ball fast enough.’ When they called it back it made me happy. Games like this really make you enjoy the process and trust the process. It really makes you appreciate everything.”
In other news and notes:
*In the first quarter sophomore QB White was 8-for-10 passing for 68 yards. So far this season in the opening quarter of games, White is 20-of-23 for 221 yards. In first halves this season, White is 34-of-46 for 416 yards. He was 11-of-14 for 144 yards in the first half against LSU.
*Redshirt freshman wide receiver Darius Slayton had a career-long 36-yard reception in the second quarter against LSU. His previous long was 27 yards against Arkansas State earlier this year,.
*Sophomore running back Kerryon Johnson topped the 500-yard career rushing mark in the first half against LSU.
*Freshman wide receiver Eli Stove got his first career carry in the third quarter for no gain.
*Auburn trails the series with LSU 28-22-1 after Saturday’s win over the Bayou Bengals. AU is 12-7 against LSU in games played at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
*Auburn has won three of the last four meetings against LSU at Jordan-Hare Stadium, including 41-7 in 2014, a win that tied the largest margin of victory in the series history, matching AU’s 41-7 victory in 1999.
*Since the SEC moved to two divisions in 1992, Auburn owns a 9-4 advantage over the Bayou Bengals in games played at Auburn. LSU lead the overall series 13-12 since division play was incorporated.
*LSU coach Les Miles had these comments after the game. “First of all, I would like to congratulate Auburn. I thought they played their butts off. I felt like we had a nice drive at the end of the game going. We got down there at the end with an opportunity to win the game, and we felt like we had the play called that we needed. With the penalty being thrown, if that was an illegal shift then the play was done and then there would’ve been a 10-second run off, and that would be that. We hurried to the line and we got lined up and illegal shifted.
"We didn’t know we illegal shifted, but we threw the ball caught it in the end-zone and caught it. We felt like we did everything we could and our kids did everything that they could do to win the game. I don’t know if I have ever come as close to winning a game as compared to finishing second as I did tonight. We realize that they were going to give us no signal as to when the clock would start on the final play. They raised their hand, let it down and we didn’t get the play off at the end. If we don’t turn the ball over and we drive the football and do the things we are supposed to, then it is a different football game.”