AUBURN — Senior wide receiver Emory Blake will play his last game for Auburn as it heads to Tuscaloosa to play No. 2 Alabama today. Blake has left his mark in the Auburn record books, ranking fifth in receptions (125), seventh in receiving yards (1,966) and fifth in touchdowns (16).
In his final game in Jordan-Hare, Blake only had two grabs for 20 yards in last weeks’ 51-7 blowout of Alabama A&M.
Even though he is 60 minutes away from his Auburn career coming to an end, he said it still hasn’t sunk in.
“I guess when it hits me, it hits me,” Blake said. “I’m not going to be sitting around thinking about, ‘Oh, this is my last game,’ when I can try to get ready for the game. Maybe its one of those things when I’m done, I’m done and I’ll finally realize I’m done.”
In 2010, the last time Blake was in Bryant-Denny, he was part of one of the most memorable games in Iron Bowl history.
He had three catches for 39 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown in the second quarter that made the score 24-7, keeping the Tigers’ national championship hopes alive and propelling them to a 28-27 victory.
“I remember being the most excited I’ve every been before a game,” Blake said. “Just going there last time, you can just feel the hatred. Us being undefeated at the time and them wanting so badly to upset us and not see us go to the national championship and us winning it there which is that much sweeter.
“Hopefully, it’ll be the same way because its just an amazing feeling to be despised that much in one place by so many people and having the chance to go up there and beat everyone.”
Blake has posted career-highs this season with 47 receptions, 733 yards and four games with over 100 yards. His three touchdown catches lead the team and he hopes to continue to climb the charts this weekend. He needs 33 yards to pass Frank Sanders for fifth in career yards and a touchdown will tie him with Darvin Adams and Karsten Bailey for third in school history.
“He understands football,” offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said. “He’s been around a while. He understands how to find the fat of the zone in zone coverage; understands how to get a release and separation.”
Blake has posted his best numbers despite getting a lot of attention from defenses as the Tigers’ strongest receiver. Coaches have complimented his route-running ability which could stem from his father Jeff Blake, a 14-year NFL quarterback. Loeffler said Blake will have no problems taking his skills to the next level.
“I think he’s a player who’s going to be just fine,” Loeffler said. “Obviously, you can always improve, but he’s got some traits that NFL will be looking for him, for sure.”
The Tigers have had a disappointing 3-8 season and are winless (0-7) in the SEC. Despite one of the worst seasons in school history, Blake said a win against the cross-state rival to end the season could change the attitude of Auburn fans.
“Even my freshman year I had some fans tell me: ‘It doesn’t matter if you lose every game as long as you beat Alabama,’ ” Blake said. “That’s how much impact this game has on our fans.”