The freshman from Oxford High got his most extensive playing time in Auburn’s 38-23 loss to Mississippi State and ran well. He rushed six times for 42 yards. His average of 7.0 yards per carry was better than starter Cameron Artis-Payne’s 4.4.
“I just try to be a little more explosive and hit the holes as hard as I could so the gaps couldn’t close,” Thomas said.
Thomas said that going into the game he didn’t know that he would have an expanded role. “I was just sitting back waiting for Coach to call my name.”
The freshman said that he felt like he had a solid game. “Overall, I feel like I made the right decisions,” said Thomas, who added that he feels comfortable running the entire offense. “We study it every day, every night and make sure we have everything down to a ‘T,’.”
For the Tigers it was a game to forget, Thomas noted. “It was very frustrating in the beginning and in the end. We weren’t putting the ball where we needed to and we were really beating ourselves.”
In other news and notes:
*In building a 28-13 halftime lead the Bulldogs converted 7-9 third downs while Auburn was just 2-7, a key stat in the game. Overall, Auburn converted 6-15 third down chances and the Bulldogs were 8-17.
“We never felt out of it,” Jones said of this team trying to come back. “Coach is always telling us to be focused, we might face adversity. We did and tried our best to fight out of it.”
*Johnathan Ford’s first-quarter interception was his second of the season.
*Brandon King’s second-quarter fumble recovery was the first of his career.
*Mississippi State’s first-quarter 34-yard touchdown pass was the first score by an opponent off an Auburn turnover this season. The play also snapped the Auburn defense’s streak of 19 opponent third-down attempts without a conversion.
*Auburn averaged 5.4 yards per play while the Bulldogs averaged 5.1.