New Orleans, La.--In a season filled with disappointments the Auburn Tigers had yet another one on Monday night in the Sugar Bowl when quarterback Sean White's broken bone in his forearm suffered in the first quarter derailed the offense in a loss to Oklahoma.
The loss weighed heavily on the minds of the players following the game, but for fullback Chandler Cox the first thoughts were for his teammate and quarterback.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Cox said. “I hurt for him, everybody hurts for him. I’ve been in that spot where you just get healthy and something else happens and you’ve got to spend more time in the training room. He’s going to be okay and he’ll come back stronger than ever.”
It was Auburn that came out strong right out of the gate with a 14-play, 75-yard drive for a touchdown on the game’s first possession. Normally blocking for touchdown runs, Cox had his number called to finish things as his three-yard run on fourth and two put Auburn up 7-0. He said it was a planned call and he was ready.
“I think the last time I ran it was Clemson this year,” Cox said of the play. “All season long we just keep repping it and repping it. This week Coach Malzahn said ‘we’re going to run it 27, we’re going to toss you the bone.’ , It’s a fun play and it’s something I like to do because it helps this team. I’m a team guy and I love to help this team out, whatever I can do. It was awesome to score.”
That play gave Auburn the early momentum, but it wouldn’t last for long with White injuring his arm the play before the Cox touchdown run. The Tigers made the lead stand up with a pair of impressive defensive series, but a 14-play, 90-yard touchdown drive by Oklahoma turned the momentum and Auburn could never get it turned back around.
“You could tell when Oklahoma had the momentum and you could tell when Auburn had it,” Cox said. “I guess it (White’s injury) kind of messed with the momentum a little bit, but that’s for us to control and execute our offense. The defense played lights out and did the best they could. Of course there are corrections to make, but that was on us as an offense. It’s something we couldn’t control, but he went down and it’s next guy up.”
Showing signs of being a dominant offense at times this season, Auburn’s offense will now have to play the waiting game to be able to prove itself again. With quarterback Jarrett Stidham transferring in and the return of many of the skill players next year, Cox said he’s expecting big things in 2017.
“We can be dangerous,” Cox said. “Those games that we won on the streak, to have everyone healthy and executing the way we need to, we just can be a dangerous offense next season because we’ve got everyone back. It’s going to be fun.”