AUBURN, Ala. — Not one, but two Tigers scored their first collegiate touchdowns and had special reasons to celebrate their milestones.
Junior fullback Jay Prosch bulled his way in from one yard out, his first trip to the end zone since he was in high school in Mobile, Ala. He transferred from Illinois before this season to be closer to home as his mother, Iris, battled brain cancer.
Two months to the day after her passing, Jay made a big play to give Auburn a 14-0 lead and some breathing room.
Jay Prosch scores his first collegiate touchdown. Iris smiles down.
— Aaron Brenner (@wareagleextra) November 3, 2012
“Every time they call me in for 1 (yard), I always think I’m getting the first down or the touchdown,” Prosch said. “I was confident, and I was ready to do it, so right when they called the play I was thinking touchdown.”
Prosch has been one of Auburn’s most endearing players, and again coach Gene Chizik stated publicly the need to feed Prosch the football.
“I love watching Jay Prosch play,” Chizik said. “To be honest with you, he needs to get the football more. I don’t think he has ever been stopped on a 3rd-and-2 yet.”
Trovon Reed turned in his No. 1 uniform for a day, brandishing No. 37 in memory of fullback Ladarious Philips, Reed’s former teammate who was fatally shot June 9.
“To have his jersey on for my first touchdown; that was the first time I ever put on a different number besides No. 1. It was all God,” Reed said. “I’ve never worn any number but 1 — even since Little League.”
On just his eighth catch of the season, Reed caught a ball from Wallace in traffic and refused to go down on his way to a 40-yard score.
“It was an honor, man. Everything I do was for him today. The whole week, the whole team had been telling me, ‘If you’re going to wear that number, represent it like DaDa would,’ Reed said. “So, when I caught it, and I saw the pylon, I was determined to get in there no matter what. I did it for his family, for his daughters, for him.”
Sophomore Quan Bray made a mental error in the second quarter, calling for a fair catch with no New Mexico State players within 15 yards of him.
The Troup County product made up for it later. His 38-yard punt return topped his previous career best by 20 yards, and was Auburn’s longest since Robert Dunn’s 66-yard score in 2008 against Louisiana-Monroe.