Saturday at 6 p.m. in Jordan-Hare Stadium 4-0 Auburn will take on 4-1 LSU in an SEC West matchup.
The Bayou Bengals were the last SEC team to get the better of Coach Gus Malzahn’s Tigers, defeating Auburn 35-21 in September 2013 at Baton Rouge. The previous year LSU won 12-10 at Auburn and in 2011, when Bray was a freshman, LSU put a 45-10 whipping on the defending national champs.
Bray pointed out that he talked to his fellow seniors this week to remind them it is time for Auburn to step up and win a game vs. this particular divisional rival.
“We haven’t beat LSU yet,” he said. “To come close last year it was heart-breaking for us. We have got a chip on our shoulder right now to lead this team Saturday in Jordan-Hare and come out and play ball.”
Bray should be eager to get back on the field after having his finest game as a college player last week when he caught touchdown passes of 37 and 44 yards and scored on a 76-yard punt return. At 36.8 yards per return he is leading the nation in that category.
The senior has made major strides from two years ago when he had a costly fumble on a punt return that helped the Bayou Bengals escape with a two-point margin of victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium on a day the Auburn defense put together a strong performance. “I?have been working hard on that trying to become the best punt returner I can be and trying to help this team,” he said.
With two returns for touchdowns in Auburn’s first four games with another one he can tie the single-season Auburn record of three set by Mike Fuller in 1974.
Bray said his new emphasis on running “north-south” like Chris Davis did last year has helped him become a more effective returner. Talking about what is working, he said, “Catching the ball and getting vertical, right now, instead of dancing back there because if we get 10 or 15 yards that is a first down for the offense they don’t have to get that is what we have really been focusing on.”
Quan Bray has six catches for 110 yards this season.
A recruit who came to Auburn with high expectations, Bray said it “means a lot” to become such a major part of the team’s success as a senior. “It is just a blessing to me because I have been working hard,” he said, noting that he appreciates the feedback he has been getting from his teammates. “They are happy for me--that’s what makes it even better.”
News and Notes: Malzahn said on Tuesday that former starting safety Jermaine Whitehead reminds suspended this week. He intercepted passes in the first two games, but has not played since then...Malzahn said he hopes to have the players who were hurt last week vs. Louisiana Tech available for action vs. LSU. He said that linebackers Cassanova McKinzy and Kris Frost plus offensive tackle Patrick Miller are “day to day” as the Tigers look to improve to 2-0 in the SEC...In last year’s game vs. LSU. McKinzy led Auburn in tackles with eight and was credited with 1 1/2 sacks...With a victory on Saturday the Tigers would pick up their 300th victory in SEC play. Les Miles is looking for his 100th career win as LSU’s head coach.