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'I knew something was up' - Auburn's Tray Matthews shines against former team
Nov. 12, 2016

By Jeff Shearer

ATHENS, Ga. - On a play that relies on the element of surprise, Auburn safety Tray Matthews was not fooled. He had inside information.

"I saw (Georgia receiver) Terry Godwin. I knew he was a quarterback back in high school," Matthews said.

"I've known him ever since I was growing up. I saw that he was going laterally. He wasn't going forward. I knew something was up. I saw the receiver going downfield. I just made a play."

Matthews intercepted Godwin's 15-yard pass in the end zone on Georgia's second drive, ending the Bulldogs' threat and leading to Auburn's lone scoring drive.

"I was surprised that it floated up that high," Matthews said. "I just made a play when I needed to."

Matthews, who began his career at Georgia before transferring to Auburn, made several plays in his return to Sanford Stadium. His 8 tackles, including 3 solos, led Auburn.

"I thought it would be (strange), but I said to one of my friends on the team, 'It's supposed to feel different, but it's really just another game,' Matthews said. "I guess just because, I started here my true freshman year. It's been three years. It wasn't really a big difference at all."

Auburn's defense held the Bulldogs to a pair of field goals, but Georgia returned an interception for a touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter, prevailing 13-7.

"We fought hard," Matthews said. "We played hard. Executed a lot of calls. Still have a lot of things we need to clean up, but we gave up just two field goals, and I think that's pretty good. But we still want to keep a goose egg on the scoreboard, of course.

"It's frustrating, but things happen, and you can't put the blame on anybody. We're still a team, and everything will come together soon."

With two games remaining, then a bowl trip, Matthews expects Auburn to finish strongly.

"It won't be tough because we have a lot of people on the team who fight hard, and we have a lot of leaders," Matthews said. "Myself, Carl (Lawson), Montravius (Adams). They still have a lot to fight for. We'll keep things rolling and bounce back.

"It broke a lot of our hearts after the game, but it's football. You have to bounce back. We're warriors, so we'll keep moving and try to get things corrected."

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



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