Auburn receiver Ricardo Louis and cornerback Chris Davis weren’t exactly close until a couple months ago.
The two were acquaintances, teammates, but in terms of hanging out, it just never happened.
But after a two-game span in which Auburn won late on two improbable plays, the two players became linked in Auburn and college football lore forever.
“Me and Chris, we were cool, but we weren’t as close as me and the offensive players,” Louis said on Saturday. “But now, every time we see each other, we sit down and talk – talk about his play, talk about my play, talk about what we went through after the play - so, we’ve become a little closer now.”
On Nov. 16 against Georgia, Louis hauled in a deflected 73-yard pass from quarterback Nick Marshall on fourth-and-18 with 25 seconds left to give Auburn a 43-38 win.
Two weeks later, Davis fielded a missed field goal with no time remaining against Alabama and ran it back 109 yards to give the Tigers a 34-28 victory and send them to the SEC title game.
Both plays were considered two of the greatest and improbable of the season and they have many – even the university – calling Auburn a team of destiny.
For both players, life has changed. Both said they're asked to take pictures and sign more autographs. Davis received a standing ovation in one of his classes. Louis said his father cried when he called him after the Georgia game. And if you ask the two who had the better play, they’ll each say each other.
“I’ll always say that his play was better than mine because I actually got the opportunity to watch it,” said Davis, who was on the sideline during Louis’ catch. “I’m quite sure he’ll say the same thing. Those two plays kinda changed college football, especially this season. So, we kind of just embrace it.”
Added Louis: “It’s crazy to take a 109-yard missed field goal to the crib against Alabama in the Iron Bowl, that’s bigger than my play since it’s the Iron Bowl against our rival team. It was crazy.”
Players said they’ve tried hard to move past those plays and focus on Monday’s BCS National Championship, but admit that it’s difficult since those plays are all anyone wants to talk about. In fact, during media availability on Saturday, both players fielded few questions about Florida State and were asked multiple times to relive the plays that have made them famous.
“We just sit around and laugh about it because no one will let us forget those plays,” Davis said. “If it wasn’t for those two plays, we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in now.”
While both players understand the significance of each of their plays and the roles they played in getting Auburn to the national championship, both players had trouble really articulating the historical significance. No one, especially the Auburn faithful, will ever forget those two plays and will probably remember exactly where they were when each play happened. And both players, regardless of what they do in the future, will always be linked to this dream season.
“After all of this is over with, when we get this game over with, I’ll sit back and look at the whole season and how everything played out,” Louis said. “I’ll sit there and think about how significant it was. That’s some play that I can show my kids when I get older and they get old enough to know what football is. I’ll get a chance to show them; ‘Look what your dad was; your dad was a baller.’ That will be a great feeling.”
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