Auburn, Ala.--With starting center Austin Golson sidelined with a “tweaked knee” on Saturday according to Gus Malzahn, senior Devonte Danzey came on in relief for the Tigers and played well according to his head coach. With Idaho coming in Saturday and the Iron Bowl a week later, Malzahn said right now they aren’t sure what to expect from Golson heading into this week’s practices.
"It's going to be tough on Austin to play this week," Malzahn said. "I know he'll want to and he'll try but I think it's going to be tough. Danzey is a guy that came in there and did a solid job for us on Saturday. He started games last year. He's got a lot of experience. He's a savvy guy. He's been playing center for about five weeks. We feel very comfortable with him."
The first experience of his career at center after moving there just a month ago, Danzey said on Saturday it was just a matter of stepping up when he was needed. Not having time to think about playing when Golson went down the former guard said he just did his best to play football the way he knows how.
“It wasn’t really that big,” Danzey said of his play. “I have been snapping since Xavier (Dampeer) went down. It was just one of those deals where it’s the next man up and I was up so I had to do my job.
“I was a little nervous,” he added. “I didn’t expect to go in, especially at center, but you’ve always got to be ready in this game.”
Following in the same path of the starter Golson, who had never played a game at center before getting the start against Louisville in the season opener, Danzey jumped into the fray and never looked back on Saturday. Malzahn said for a guy that didn’t have any experience Danzey handled things very well.
“Danzey has got about four weeks of reps at center, which is very important,” Malzahn said. “He's started half the year last year at guard, so he's a savvy guy that we really trust. You always worry about the snaps getting back to the quarterback. I thought he did a very good job.”
On the field as the offense sputtered in the second half Danzey said the goal is simple moving forward for this Auburn team. With the problem of scoring touchdowns instead of kicking field goals in the red zone one of the things standing between this Auburn team and a much, much better record this season Danzey said the goal is a simple one the rest of the year.
““We had a good running game going,” Danzey said of last week. “We just have to finish those plays and drives. They were a good team, but it was just one of those things where you’ve got to finish when it’s going.”