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'No one gave up': Auburn players say they'll be back
Nov. 9, 2014

Kris Frost, left, and Angelo Blackson with the stop for Auburn

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  It was a locker room that Ricardo Louis didn't want to see, not after Auburn kept coming back, not after the Tigers fell just short in a 41-38 loss to Texas A&M.

"Some people with their heads down, some people encouraging others. But at the end of the day, we'll just come together as a team as we always do," Louis said Saturday night.

Auburn fumbled twice late in the game in Jordan-Hare Stadium, losing both, and losing a chance at victory. Auburn fell to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the SEC. 

"It's a tough pill to swallow," Louis said. "We have a whole bunch of winners on this team, and losing is always a bad feeling."

"We're a championship team," said receiver Quan Bray. "We still believe in that."

Auburn, which had mastered the late comeback win the last two years, saw the tables turned with the late miscues. Louis was seemingly involved in another comeback when quarterback Nick Marshall connected with him for a long pass, but, a short time later, Auburn fumbled on the 3 with 2½ minutes left. Auburn turned it over again at the 29 with less than a minute to play on a bad snap.

"We were going to win the game," Bray said.

Only last week, Auburn beat Ole Miss in a similar fashion when the Tigers made the play that forced Laquon Treadwell to fumble just before he crossed the goal line with just over a minute to play. Auburn won that won 35-31. Not this time, even though Auburn's defense allowed only six points in the second half.

Louis shrugged off his two catches for 50 yards in the drive that ended at the 3 that could have flipped the game. "I was just making the play for the team." He also had four carries for 50 more yards to go along with his 50 yards in receiving.

Auburn trailed 35-17 at the half, then suddenly had a chance to win. Marshall brought Auburn back, but a bad exchange on a handoff to Cameron Artis-Payne led to the fumble at the 3. Artis-Payne otherwise rushed for 221 yards and two touchdowns as he smashed through the 1,000-yard rushing barrier for the season.

"Those guys made plays to keep us in the game, Nick and Cameron," said receiver Melvin Ray. "We rely on those guys. They're great players. They're the reason we're in the game in the first place."

Marshall and Artis-Payne combined for 507 yards and five touchdowns.

Like his players, coach Gus Malzahn said the Tigers would play on.

Center Reese Dismukes took responsibility for the second late fumble. Marshall stood by his center.

"We were checking the play and Reese probably heard somebody in the stands or somewhere and snapped the ball. Unfortunately that happened," Marshall said.

Defensive lineman Angelo Blackson said the opportunities were there. Some were lost. "But we kept fighting though," he said.

"We had a lot of defensive struggles, but we just kept fighting. We had guys on the sidelines cheering each other on. No one gave up, and that's a positive to the team."

That's good, because Auburn is at Georgia next week, then plays Samford at home, then wraps up the regular season at Alabama.

"It was just one of those moments where you've got to hold your head up. We have a lot more games. We're not going to quit," Blackson said.

Weekend stories...
• Coaches poll: Auburn stays in the Top 10
• The game story: Texas A&M wins a wild one
• Gus Malzahn: 'We're going to stick together'
• Cameron Artis-Payne: Joins 1,000-yard club with big game
• The notebookAuburn turns to Georgia after big offensive day

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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