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'Right where we want to be' - special teams, defense contribute in Auburn's Homecoming win
Marcus Davis returns a punt against ULM, something the Tigers have emphasized in practice.
Oct. 2, 2016

By Jeff Shearer

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn's offense attracted much of the attention in the Tigers' 58-7 win over Louisiana-Monroe -- 688 yards are hard to ignore -- but defense and special teams also played a role.

Marcus Davis returned 3 punts for 37 yards, including a 25-yarder, something coach Gus Malzahn said the Tigers have been working on in practice.

"Those guys did a great job blocking for me," Davis said. "I was able to have some space and make a couple plays."

Two other Davises -- Ryan and Kyle made plays in the passing game. Ryan led Auburn with 5 receptions, for 56 yards, while Kyle scored his first touchdown on a 48-yard pass from Sean White.

Nate Craig-Myers, like Kyle Davis a true freshman, also found the end zone for the first time, on John Franklin III's first career touchdown pass.

"Those guys were talented when they came in," Marcus Davis said. "It's just great to see them come in and show it in front of everybody else. I've been seeing those guys make plays, so I'm just excited for their future as well."

Tony Stevens led Auburn with 109 receiving yards -- his first 100-yard game, including a 48-yard touchdown catch.

"I'm really happy for him," Marcus Davis said. "Tony and I came in the same year. Just to see his hard work paying off, I'm really happy and I hope that continues for him."



Davis complimented Auburn quarterback Sean White, who was 14-for-17 for 239 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and also ran for a score.

"We go as the quarterback goes," Davis said. "That makes the team better. Whenever he's clicking, the entire team's clicking. It's always good when he's making plays."

John Franklin III's 80-yard touchdown run also caught Davis' eye.

"I knew he was gone when he crossed the line of scrimmage." Davis said. "He's one of the fastest guys on the team."

Meanwhile on defense, lineman Dontavius Russell was pleased after holding ULM to 7 points and 251 yards, the fewest yards an Auburn opponent has gained this season.

"It's always a good thing to get a victory that big," Russell said. "Since we got two in a row now, it feels good. When you get a win, you feel like you can keep that going."

Auburn has held four of its five opponents this season to fewer than 20 points.

"We needed that game because we needed something to keep the momentum going from the LSU game," safety Tray Matthews said. "We want to continue to keep the momentum going, and keep getting better and better each week."

Auburn now heads to Mississippi State Saturday, seeking a third straight victory.

"With the last two wins, we're right where we want to be," Davis said. "That's definitely giving us the momentum that we need to win on the road."

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:

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