AU-A&M News & Notes: Wallace Shows Promise

News and notes from Auburn's SEC football loss to Texas A&M are featured with comments from Jonathan Wallace.

Auburn, Ala.--With starting quarterback Clint Moseley sidelined by an ankle injury on the first series of the game, Jonathan Wallace had an opportunity to share more snaps with backup Kiehl Frazier. The results may have put the true freshman in line for much more playing time--possibly even a starting role--over Auburn's remaining four games.

During a poor performance of historic proportions when the Auburn defense gave up a Jordan-Hare record 63 points and a school worst 670 yards offense, Wallace was a bright spot with a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter.

The true freshman found tight end C.J. Uzomah on a 27-yard catch and run before hitting veteran senior Emory Blake in the end zone on another 27-yarder. After completing his only pass of the season in a loss to Vanderbilt the previous week, Wallace connected on 6-9 attempts for 122 yards and rushed for 71 yards on 13 carries against Texas A&M in the Tigers' 63-21 loss.

"It was great and I thought the first touchdown pass really lifted some guys' spirits," he said. "It gave us some momentum and got us back in the game. It was great to score, but it wasn't enough."

Wallace noted his comfort level increased as the game progressed and he ran more of the regular offense after spending virtually all season running the read option out of the wildcat formation.

"It felt good to get an opportunity to throw the ball," he said. "I have been working in practice on the passing game and had chance to do it tonight."

While Coach Gene Chizik says he was proud of Wallace's effort, he added that the freshman is still learning bits and pieces of the offense. In his postgame comments, Chizik said evaluating the game film will determine just how well Wallace performed. p> "But I think as everybody saw tonight, you saw flashes of a guy that again, that has an opportunity to keep getting weaned on to the different part of the offense that he can succeed at. I think he showed that tonight."

When asked about the possibility of seeing more action or starting next week against New Mexico State, Wallace stated, "If that's what the coaches ask me to do, I'll prepare as hard as I can and go put an perform as well as I can."

In other news and notes:

*Auburn captains against Texas A&M were seniors Nosa Equae, Onterio McCalebb, T'Sharvan Bell and Emory Blake. The Tigers won the toss and deferred to the second half with Texas A&M electing to receive.

*Sophomore Tre Mason started at running back ahead of senior Onterio McCalebb for the third straight game. Jake Holland moved back into the starting lineup after falling behind true freshman Cassanova McKinzy, who recorded 12 tackles the previous week as the starter at middle linebacker against Vanderbilt. The junior Holland started Auburn's first six games. With Dee Ford still hampered by an injury, Nosa Equae opened at defensive end for the Tigers, but Ford did play in a reserve role.

*A junior, Equae started for the 27th time in his Auburn career, second in starts among the Tigers behind senior linebacker Daren Bates who made his 43rd start Saturday against Texas A&M. Senior wide receiver Emory Blake started his 23rd game against the Aggies, matching the number of starts for senior tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, whose career ended two weeks ago because of a hip injury that will require surgery.

*Onterio McCalebb is only the second player in SEC history to record more than 2,000 career rushing yards, 1,000 career kick return yards and 500 career receiving yards. The first was Derrick Locke of Kentucky who played from 2007-10 and is now in the Canadian Football League.

*Texas A&M has won all three meetings between the Tigers and Aggies. In a game played in Dallas in 1911, the Aggies won 16-0. The only other meeting between the two teams prior to Saturday was also at the 1986 Cotton Bowl in Dallas when Texas A&M defeated the Tigers 36-16 the year Bo Jackson won the Heisman Trophy for Auburn.

*Chizik's career record as a head coach dropped to 36-36 with the loss to Texas A&M. He was 5-19 in two years as head coach of Iowa State before coming to Auburn in 2009 where he has compiled a 31-16 mark.

*The eagle "Spirit" thrilled the crowd with the pre-game flight, easily the longest of the season for the flight as the mascot actually flew out of the stadium behind the jumbotron before returning and landing at midfield.


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