Taylor Sweet As Sugar In The Clutch

New Orleans, La.--When the Tigers have needed a big play on offense throughout the season, sophomore wide receiver Courtney Taylor has been a good option.

That was the case again in the Sugar Bowl as he stepped up with a strong performance. He caught five passes for 87 yards on a night when the entire Auburn team had just 11 catches for 189 yards.

"Courtney has become a real go-to guy and a clutch player for us," noted offensive coordinator Al Borges, who predicted in preseason that could be the case.

Borges said while many people were surprised that Jason Campbell became a star at quarterback, the new offensive coordinator noted that he expected that and he expected Taylor to develop into one of the senior's favorite receivers.

Taylor said he was thrilled with the victory, despite the Tigers not winning by a decisive enough margin to have a realistic shot to jump to number one in the AP Top 25 poll. "We played a good game," the receiver said. "We have been consistent all year. We feel like we are champions in our heart."

Taylor admitted the Tigers didn't play their best football, but still found a way to move to 13-0 to close the season. "We are going to make some mistakes," he said. "Every football team is going to do that, but we recovered and won the football game. That is what is important.

With Virginia Tech concentrating on stopping Auburn's running game, Taylor was able to consistently get open vs. the Hokies.

"They stacked the box and they did single coverage," he said. "I loved it. I was like okay, if you guys aren't going to respect me I am going to make you pay for it. I kept telling them, ‘You better get some help out here.' We did get the safety moving back a little big more in the second half."

Taylor said the Hokies played a tough game, which was not unexpected. "Nothing surprised me in the game," the receiver said. "Our coaches did a great job of preparing us for everything we saw.

"It would be nice if somebody votes us number one, but regardless of what happens we are going to feel like we are national champions," Taylor added.


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