Auburn notebook: Denson goes out with injury
by Joe Medley
jmedley@annistonstar.com
Sep 21, 2013 | 2108 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall (14) tries to carry around LSU defensive end Danielle Hunter (94). (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall (14) tries to carry around LSU defensive end Danielle Hunter (94). (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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BATON ROUGE, La. — Auburn junior wide receiver Jaylon Denson went down with an apparent injury to his left knee on the game’s first possession and was carted off the field. He did not return to action.

In his postgame news conference, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn didn't have an update on Denson's condition.

"He got carted off," Malzahn said. "That's never good."

Denson was running open in the right flat for a Nick Marshall pass, but the pass was underthrown in rainy conditions. When Denson stretched back to try to catch it, he slipped, went down on the turf then grabbed his left knee.

He entered the game with three catches for 45 yards on the season.

Celebrating anniversary

At the end of the first quarter, LSU marked the 25th anniversary of the “Earthquake Game,” LSU’s 7-6 victory over Auburn on Oct. 8, 1988.

A video showing Tommy Hodson’s game-winning 11-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Fuller on a fourth-down play aired on the stadium’s main scoreboard video screen.

The play touched off a raucous celebration from the crowd of 79,431 in Tiger Stadium. According to legend, it registered as an earthquake by a seismograph located in LSU’s Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex, located about 1,000 feet from the stadium.

The reading was discovered the morning after the game by LSU seismologist Don Stevenson, who submitted it to the Louisiana Geological Survey.

Stevenson displayed a copy of the reading on his office window, and the copy was seen by an ESPN crew in 1991. ESPN did a piece on what the network called “The Earthquake Game.”

Hodson was named an honorary captain for Saturday’s game.

Lineup moves

According to a report on ESPN’s College Gameday on Saturday morning, defensive end Craig Sanders suffered an undisclosed off-field incident which kept him from traveling with the team.

Malzahn declined to update his status, aside from saying the senior was "banged up."

Cornerback Chris Davis, who sat out last week’s game, didn't make the trip, either.

"I think we’ll have a good chance getting him back in the near future," Malzahn said.

Auburn’s Dee Ford, who played for the first time this season last Saturday, was back in the starting lineup at defensive end, while Ben Bradley will start in Jeff Whitaker’s place at defensive tackle once again.

For LSU, Jeremy Hill got the nod at running back, while true freshman Tre’Davious White was in the starting lineup at cornerback. It marked the freshman’s second career start, and second consecutive, after last week’s game against Kent State.

Doctor Shaq

Retired NBA great Shaquille O’Neal was recognized during the second quarter of Saturday’s game. The former LSU Tiger was announced as “Dr. Shaq,” as he received his doctorate in education in May 2012 from Barry University.

O’Neal was in town for his annual charity golf tournament, which took place Friday. Funds from the tournament go to the Shaquille O’Neal Life Skills Program at LSU, which helps student-athletes prepare for life after college.

O’Neal played for the Tigers from 1989-1992, being named an All-American twice and leading the nation in rebounding in 1991 with 14.7 boards per game. His No. 33 jersey was later retired by LSU.

He came back to complete his bachelor’s degree in general studies in 2000.

After his college career, he was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft by the Orlando Magic, and captured four championships in his career, three with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000-02) and one with the Miami Heat (2006). He also won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award in 2000.

Up next

Auburn gets an open date to prepare to play host to Ole Miss in an Oct. 5 showdown of hurry-up spread teams and former Arkansas State coaches.

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was Arkansas State’s head coach until taking the Ole Miss job after the 2011 season.

Auburn’s Gus Malzahn replaced Freeze at Arkansas State and coached the Red Wolves through the 2012 regular season.

It’ll come down to which defense finds a way to get stops or, at least, turn touchdown chances into field goals.
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