Auburn, Ala.--At 6-4 and 306 pounds Montravius Adams is a load on Auburn’s defensive line. Imagine being a defensive back attempting to tackle him.
That’s exactly what happened in the first quarter of Auburn’s 45-17 homecoming victory Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, the 300th win in the storied venue that opened in 1939. Louisiana Tech quarterback Cody Sokol had his pass tipped by linebacker Kris Frost who was coming on a blitz.
Adams grabbed the ball and took off for 36 yards to the Bulldogs’ five-yard line. Cameron Artis-Payne scored Auburn’s first touchdown of the afternoon on the next play.
“I was doing over-and-under on the rush,” Adams described the play. “Before I could do the under, I saw the ball and it kind of shocked me. When I did catch it, I kind of hesitated a couple of seconds before I started running.”
Adams was tackled five yards short of the goal line.
“My teammates told me I should have dove into the end zone,” he said. “I didn’t think about it, but we scored the next play so that’s okay.”
The sophomore defender said it was his first interception ever going back to his youth football days. He also recovered a fumble in the second quarter. That recovery set up a 37-yard touchdown pass from Nick Marshall to Quan Bray. The two turnovers for Adams led to 14 points by the offense.
“On the fumble recovery I did like we are taught in practice--keep following the play--and the ball came out,” Adams said.
“Lately, Coach (Ellis) Johnson has been talking to us about turnovers,” Adams pointed out. “This game I thought we did well with that. That’s what we came in to do, capitalize on mistakes.”
Coach Gus Malzhan acknowledged Adams’ efforts in his post-game comments.
“Montravius Adams made a big impact play when he caught it (interception) and almost took it to the house. You can see he can really run, he’s a good athlete. Our defensive line set the tone playing in the back field early. He’s an impact player, there’s no doubt.”
In other news and notes:
*Auburn’s last interception by a defensive lineman was by Nick Fairley in 2010 at Mississippi State. That game by Fairley was also the last time an Auburn player registered both an interception and a fumble recovery.
*Louisiana Tech’s second-quarter fumble was the first forced by Jonathan Jones and the first recovered by Montravius Adams in their careers.
*Auburn had a pair of 100-yard rushers in Cameron Artis-Payne (116) and Nick Marshall (105). It is the second time this season both Marshall and Artis-Payne went over 100-yards in the same game (San Jose State was the other.).
*This is Marshall’s sixth career 100-yard rushing game. It’s his fourth career game with 100 yards rushing and 100 yards passing. This is the first time Marshall has thrown three TD passes in a game during his Auburn career.
*With Louisiana Tech punter Logan McPherson hitting the ball short, Auburn put an up man with returner Quan Bray. On a 22-yard return in the first quarter running back Corey Grant took out two defenders with one block.
*Except for Bray’s returns, Auburn’s special teams play wasn’t that strong. The Tigers averaged 32 yards on three punts--two by Daniel Carlson and one by Matthew Shiel--in the first half and Carlson was one-of-two on field goal attempts, missing from 41 yards out and connecting from 25. The Tigers also gave up kickoff returns of 37 and 36 yards.