Another Physical Test For Prosch And Tigers

Auburn fullback Jay Prosch talks about the challenge of facing FSU's defense and the physical nature he brings to the table as the Tigers prepare for the BCS title game.

Newport Beach, Cal.--Much of the talk surrounding the BCS National Championship Game for the last three weeks has surrounded Auburn's nation-leading running game against a powerful Florida State defense allowing just 116.5 yards per game and five total rushing touchdowns this year.

That talk continued on the first media day in California as the teams continue preparation for the Jan. 6 showdown in the Rose Bowl. Averaging 335.7 rushing yards per game with 46 rushing touchdowns, the Tigers have become a brute force on the ground in recent weeks with punishing games in wins over Georgia, Alabama and Missouri. Now facing yet another big challenge against a good defense fullback Jay Prosch says the Tigers are just going to keep doing what got them here.

"I think it's safe to say that over our last three games every defense have played hasn't had a weakness," Prosch said. "Somehow we've found a weakness. Honestly I think we'll be able to find a weakness in their defense. That's not to say they are weak defense. I think they are very good defense, but I think with our offense we're just going to keep doing what we're doing.

"We haven't been stopped yet so we're going to go with that. Coach (Gus) Malzahn is a great play-caller. He's able to break down defenses like no other so I just listen to whatever he says. I think the whole team has confidence in his play-calling. We believe in whatever he calls. I don't think we're really going to have much of a problem."

There is no question that how Prosch goes so goes the Auburn running game. Early in the season it was a struggle to find his rhythm in a new-style offense, but once Malzahn figured out how to use both he and Nick Marshall to get things rolling it has been all downhill since then. A capable receiver that hasn't been called on (five catches for 95 yards), Prosch has one receiving touchdown this season. While he would love to be more involved in touching the football he knows his role and is fine with it.

"I love to catch the ball," Prosch said. "Obviously I don't get many receptions so it was just nice to be able to catch one for a touchdown. Not to mention just to get a touchdown for myself. Saying that, it brings me more joy just to block and watch my teammates score. Whenever I'm blocking somebody and Tre (Mason) runs by me for a touchdown it's more a team feeling in that. That's just amazing to know you're part of something that allowed him to do that. It was a great experience for me and I'm really glad it happened, but I still love what I do."

Well-respected by his Auburn teammates, Prosch got the ultimate compliments from center Reese Dismukes when the junior compared his fellow Mobile native to "Hercules, The Hulk and a statue". One of the strongest players on his team and someone that has been a powerful player since his days as an offensive lineman and linebacker at UMS-Wright, Prosch joked that the descriptions fit him but in the end he's just one of the guys.

"I think I'm all three," Prosch said laughing. "Mostly I'm an offensive lineman. I have a connection with those guys. I do a lot of blocking, as you probably know. I really do feel like I'm just a glorified offensive lineman. I love blocking. I love watching Tre run by with the ball after I knock somebody out. Also, in a way, I feel like I do a few other things as well, but mostly I'm just a glorified offensive lineman."

With one more game to show his stuff against a top college defense before the NFL comes calling, Prosch said he's excited to take the field one more time with his teammates to try to bring home the national championship. Facing a team that has blown out everyone this year, Prosch said his own team might be considered lucky by some for the finishes against Georgia and Alabama this season, but he prefers to think of it as preparation.

"It's definitely a blessing, but I'm also going to add in that I firmly believe that you get what you work for," Prosch said. "I think we've put in the work to win the games we've won. Coach Malzahn stresses to us every day that we're going to get better not only every game but also every practice. That's what we tried to do this year. I really think the crazy wins we've had that people say are luck and may be luck, I feel like we deserved those wins. That's part of life. You get what you work for. No matter how it comes."


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