Auburn's Jeremy Johnson avoids the rush on the way to victory
By Charles Goldberg
ATLANTA, Ga. — Ricardo Louis was on the good end of a Jeremy Johnson touchdown pass and Ricardo Louis scored another touchdown on a run.
What more could he do? Talk up his quarterback, of course.
The receiver said he found Johnson on the sidelines during Saturday's 31-24 win over Louisville and told him to look at the good things in a game that included 137 passing yards and that TD pass, as well as three interceptions
"He didn't let it get to him. I talked to him: 'Let's get it. Let's keep on going. Forget about it.' He did," Louis said.
Johnson said his performance, which included a 1-yard touchdown run and a long touchdown pass that was called back because of a holding penalty, resulted in the most important thing.
"I'm just happy we got the win. All I can do is get ready for the next game and put this game behind me and learn from my mistakes," Johnson said after the game.
"I felt good about today. I pretty much won't make those mistakes again."
Johnson was making his first start as Auburn's designated starter, though he started a game in each of the previous two years as Nick Marshall's backup. Coach Gus Malzahn said his quarterback will be OK.
"I think he was trying to force a few things, just trying to make some plays early on. He's going to be fine. He made some very good plays to help us win, especially down the stretch," Malzahn said.
Johnson spread the ball around: Louis caught three passes for 54 yards, Duke Williams caught three passes for 40 yards, Melvin Ray caught one for 19 yards, Peyton Barber caught one for 15 yards, Jason Smith caught one for 7 yards and Marcus Davis caught one for two yards.
Louis said the opener was a learning experience.
"It tells you what we're good at, and what we need to work on. The things we need to work on are very minor," he said.
Louis, who has scored big touchdowns in the past, had a first. Saturday was the first time he scored on a catch and on a run in the game. Louis, the receiver, said he liked one of them the best.
"Probably the run," said Louis, thinking back to his Wing-T high school days.
Auburn plays Jacksonville State at 11 a.m. Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium before venturing the next week to play a game at LSU. Louis said Auburn will be ready.
"Winning is great. We got a win, and move on."
Also from the win...
• Justin Garrett's perseverance pays off with a defensive TD
• Peyton Barber's big game
• The game story
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine