Oct. 13, 2013
Molly Anne Dutton, second from left, was crowned Auburn's Miss Homecoming (Todd Van Emst photo)
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn H-back Jay Prosch didn't do it in high school. He didn't do it in two seasons at Illinois. And before Saturday, he hadn't done it in 17 games at Auburn. He had not caught a touchdown pass.
That changed in the first quarter of Auburn's 62-3 homecoming romp over Western Carolina when he caught an 8-yarder from quarterback Jeremy Johnson.
"I wasn't expecting it," Prosch said. "It was awesome. It felt really good."
Johnson said he was confident when he threw to Prosch.
"He had a soft cast on his arm, but I knew he'd catch it," Johnson said. "We throw to him in practice a lot, and he always catches them."
Plenty of Tigers see homecoming action
More than 60 players got into Saturday's game against Western Carolina. Thirty of those showed up on the defensive stat sheet. Auburn played so many players that the team's leading tacklers were Anthony Swain and Kris Frost, and they were only in long enough to make three tackles each.
Eight more players had two tackles each.
Malzahn said he was happy to play so many players on offense and defense.
"It gives you more depth, and we've played a lot of guys this year anyway. Any time they get more experience, it does nothing but help you," he said.
Injured players sit out homecoming game
With next Saturday's trip to Texas A&M looming, Auburn players who were beat up didn't get in on the fun in Saturday's 62-3 blowout of Western Carolina.
Tight end/receiver C.J. Uzomah (leg) and defensive tackle Montravius Adams (knee) joined quarterback Nick Marshall in sitting out the game. Wide receiver Sammie Coates, with an unknown injury, played only briefly.
Linebacker Cassanova McKinzy, who was carted off the field last week against Ole Miss, was back in the starting lineup in Saturday's game.
Auburn suffered no apparent injuries in Saturday's game.
Miller, Fulse miss game because of off-field issues
Right tackle Pat Miller and receiver Brandon Fulse did not dress for Saturday's homecoming game. Head coach Gus Malzahn did not say why and did not say when they would return. Sophomore Avery Young, who started the first three games of last season, started in Miller's place and junior Trovon Reed started in Fulse's place.
"They have some off-the-field things that they need to take care of," Malzahn said.
Auburn's defense will look good on film
Tackle Nosa Eguae said Auburn's defense can take something positive away from Saturday's win, even if it was against the over-matched Catamounts.
"The guys were really focused this week because we know there's a lot of carryover with the teams we're playing in the next couple of weeks," Eguae said.
Auburn's defense didn't have much trouble holding Western Carolina to three points, six first downs and 173 yards. Auburn has a tougher assignment next Saturday at Texas A&M.
"We knew it was a similar offense that we were going to be facing next week, and we didn't want to put anything on film that was going to make us look bad," Eguae said. "We wanted to make sure they know we're going to come ready to play next week."
- Charles Goldberg
Miss Homecoming crowned at halftime
Molly Anne Dutton of Gardendale was crowned Miss Homecoming at halftime of Saturday's game. The other four finalists were Jacie Coressel, Heather Henley, Cody Nall and Hannah Wilson.
Malzahn backs off instead of piling on overmatched Catamounts
With an opportunity to pile on, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn pulled back in Saturday's 62-3 victory over Western Carolina.
Not only did Malzahn play almost every player who was available, the Tigers used 8:41 to run 10 plays on their last possession. And when they were in scoring range, they made no real effort to score. All 10 carries were by former walk-on running back Chandler Shakespeare. On third-and-3 at the WCU, they took what appeared to be an intentional delay penalty. After two carries by Chandler into the middle of the line, the ball went over on downs with 4:54 left.
Auburn started the second half playing backups on the offensive and defensive lines. Starting quarterback Jeremy Johnson did not return after the first series of the third quarter.
Auburn players `work the plan'
Charlie "Cheese" Harbison, Auburn's co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, said players did what they had to do to get ready for a game in which they were prohibitive favorites.
"We've got good kids that stay focused, buy in and work the plan," Harbison said. "Today, they came out and stayed focused and played one snap at a time.