Jan. 7, 2014
Auburn's Tre Mason goes for some of his 195 yards in the BCS title game (USA Today photo)
By Charles Goldberg
PASADENA, Calif. -- He ran for more yards than Bo Jackson did in any Auburn season. Ran for more yards in a season than Carnell Williams, James Brooks, Joe Cribbs, Ben Tate, Stephen Davis, Brent Fullwood and Ronnie Brown, too.
But, after wrapping up another big night, after breaking Jackson's Auburn single-season rushing record, Tre Mason humbly said it wasn't enough.
"I apologize to the Auburn family and the rest of the fans that we didn't finish what we started," he said Monday night after Florida State beat the Tigers in the final seconds 34-31 in the BCS Championship Game.
Mason, a junior and Heisman Trophy finalist, said he hasn't decided if he'll come back for his senior season.
Mason tried his best to give Auburn the win. He rushed for 195 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown sprint that gave Auburn a 31-27 lead with 1:19 remaining. Mason finished the season with 1,816 yards, topping Jackson's 1,786 established in 1983. Mason also scored 144 points, also an Auburn single-season record. He also set a school record with 2,374 all-purpose yards.
Mason finished the season on the run, topping 100 yards in each of his last six games, and doing it nine times this season. He was a workhorse again Monday, with 34 carries in a follow-up to his 46-carry, 304-yard, four-touchdown performance against Missouri in the SEC Championship Game.
Mason, who talked of an Auburn bounce-back season long before the wins started to add up, said he was disappointed for the fans "because we told them we'd have the biggest turnaround in college football, and the biggest turnaround would be winning that crystal ball. We owed them that because of the season last year. I just want them to know that I gave it all I got, but I still feel like I let them down."
Mason said it was "a blessing" to break Jackson's record, "but it would be great to do that with holding the crystal ball in the air. But that's just the way it is."
Mason has two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Will he try for a third at Auburn?
"Emotions are everywhere right now," he said "That's not really what's going through my head right now. Right now I just feel like I let the whole Auburn family down by not finishing. That decision will probably come later on, but, right now, I'm not thinking of that."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine