Nov. 19, 2013
Ricardo Louis makes the big catch against Georgia (AP Photo/The Montgomery Advertiser, Amanda Sowards)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn fans are still talking about the Prayer in Jordan-Hare three days after it gave the Tigers one of the most remarkable wins in school history - and so is the coach who was stung by all the dramatics.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said Tuesday he was caught off guard when Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall threw long to Ricardo Louis because the ball was launched into "super deep" coverage against three defenders, according to an ESPN Georgia story.
The pass hit its mark - after bouncing off a Georgia defender - when Louis caught the deflection in stride to turn the play into a 73-yard scoring play with 25 seconds left that sent Auburn past the Bulldogs 43-38 and into the Nov. 30 Alabama game with plenty of momentum.
Louis' catch has been a highlight staple ever since.
Richt said Marshall's pass wasn't a Hail Mary because Auburn sent just two of its five receivers deep, and instead of throwing into a crowd of receivers, he threw it to just one. Marshall's first option on the fourth-and-18 call was to get a first down by throwing it to Sammie Coates. But Marshall quickly sized up the situation and threw it long into what Richt said was triple coverage.
"You shouldn't really throw a post into that look. You've got two or three guys deeper than the guy," Richt said. "But they launched it and we didn't bat it down.
"It wasn't like everybody ran down the field and they were trying to throw a Hail Mary. It was a dig route and a post and some other concepts underneath to read.
"Usually if the deep ball's there, you throw it. If the safeties are deep, you throw the dig to the checkdown-type thing. But he let it rip and it turned out to be a good thing for them."
Richt said Georgia wasn't look for a long pass.
"At that point and that far away, we weren't thinking that it was time to launch it," Richt said.
Video: Watch the game-winning catch with your voice of the Auburn Tigers, Rod Bramblett, calling the play:
Charles Goldberg writes AuburnTigers.com. Following him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine