Auburn notebook: Prosch's TD, happy defense, Ford on offense
by Ryan Black
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Oct 12, 2013 | 2336 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Auburn running back Tre Mason scores a touchdown. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
Auburn running back Tre Mason scores a touchdown. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
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AUBURN — Jay Prosch had no idea the ball was coming his way.

The Auburn fullback had no reason to think it would, either. Coming into Saturday’s game against Western Carolina, the senior had only three catches for 31 yards this season.

On top of that, he had never caught a touchdown pass.

So imagine Prosch’s surprise when he saw Jeremy Johnson rifle a pass in his direction in the first quarter of the Tigers’ 62-3 victory, a play which ultimately resulted in his first career touchdown reception.

“I’m not like the No. 1 read on that, so I wasn’t expecting the ball, but I came through the linebackers and got in the end zone,” Prosch said. “I was looking, and I could tell he was looking, too, and I just made sure I stayed with him. He looked at me and I looked back at him and that’s when I realized he would throw it to me. So it was cool.”

Tre Mason could only laugh at the thought of Prosch — a fullback running around with a cast on his hand — as a receiving threat.

“You see that club on his hand and some people doubt that he can catch,” Mason said. “He can do it, though. He’s really good with his hands.”

Mason was also unable to hide his excitement that Prosch was finally in the spotlight that all too often goes to those playing flashier positions.

“I love watching him shine, because he does all the dirty work for us,” Mason said. “I love seeing him score.”

Prosch was just one of four Tigers who found the end zone for the first time Saturday, joining Tony Stevens, Ricardo Louis and Johnathan Ford.

Happy defense

Nosa Eguae was fine with being the overlooked unit Saturday.

Besides, what is a defense to do when its offense sets a school record?

“That’s how it is,” Eguae said. “We have a great offense, but we feel like we have a great defense, too. We’re just trying to get better. That’s all we can do — go out there and get better every single day.”

The Tigers allowed only three points and 173 yards of offense to the Catamounts. Auburn’s defense was so stingy, Western Carolina only crossed midfield twice in the entire game. The distribution of the Tigers’ tackles tells how out of hand the game became: linebackers Kris Frost and Anthony Swain tied for the team-high with three stops.

Eguae wanted to focus only on the youthful members of Auburn’s defense, who kept Western Carolina out of the end zone even when the starters had long been on the bench.

“They didn’t miss a beat,” he said. “They’ve been itching and waiting to get in there. And when they got in there, they made plays. They made (things) happen.”

Cameo on offense

Earlier in the week, Malzahn said that Ford would stay at cornerback for the rest of the season after moving there during the preseason.

However, the true freshman who was recruited as a running back was in the backfield Saturday, scoring his first career touchdown on a 38-yard rush in the final period.

Despite Ford’s appearance on offense, Malzahn said he would remain a defensive back.

“I think you can see he’s a phenomenal player,” Malzahn said. “The fact that we have three experienced backs obviously has something to do with that.”

Sitting out

Malzahn said that tight end Brandon Fulse and right tackle Ryan Miller missed Saturday’s game due to “off the field things they needed to take care of.”

When asked whether the duo had been suspended, Malzahn refrained from answering.

Up next

Auburn will face ninth-ranked Texas A&M on Saturday in the main CBS game, which the nation will see at 2:30 p.m.

The Tigers lost 63-21 to the Aggies at home last year, and it likely was the game that clinched the end of the Gene Chizik era. A&M led 21-0 after a quarter and 42-7 at halftime, and the Jordan-Hare Stadium stands emptied well before the final horn.

It marked Auburn’s seven loss in eight games in 2012.
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Auburn notebook: Prosch's TD, happy defense, Ford on offense by Ryan Black
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