Special Day For Fetsko

Auburn, Ala.--His teammates made it quite clear what they think of Justin Fetsko after the former walk-on got his first collegiate touchdown on a day he and his fellow seniors were honored at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The undersized wide receiver blocked two punts in Auburn's 73-7 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. On the first one, he recovered the football in the end zone to give the Tigers a 38-0 lead with with 9:22 left before halftime. Of the 10 TDs scored by the Tigers on Saturday, the one by Fetsko was obviously the biggest hit among the Auburn players. Virtually everyone on the Auburn sideline found Fetsko to congratulate the senior from Pensacola, Fla.

Justin Fetsko

"Justin is like a brother," said Tiger quarterback Jason Campbell, who added that he was hoping to throw a touchdown pass to Fetsko on Saturday. "He works hard every day. He is a smart guy. He was at every workout this summer as a walk-on and then he got a scholarship for his senior season. I was so happy for him. It was great for him to get a touchdown on homecoming on a day when he was honored with the other seniors.

Fetsko's first blocked punt was the first one for an Auburn player since Tim Carter got one vs. Mississippi State two years ago. A season earlier vs. Vanderbilt was the last time the Tigers scored on a blocked punt as Reggie Torbor got the block and Casinious Moore the touchdown.

Fetsko also blocked a punt in the second half that led to another Auburn touchdown during the 300th game in Jordan-Hare Stadium history. Donnay Young's punt block gave the Tigers three for the day.

"We didn't really see anything on film on them, but Coach Gran (Eddie Gran) tells us every week to come hard," Fetsko said of the punt return team's punt block strategy. "We really worked hard this week in practice going against our first punt team. Coach Gran tells us to come hard every time and expect to block it."

With his parents in from Pensacola to be in pre-game ceremonies honoring him at Senior Day, Fetsko obviously had a day he won't soon forget. "I knew I could play Division I and I wanted to play Division I," he said. "Some people told me I couldn't, but I felt like I could."

Gran was a happy assistant coach after the game as he talked about the punt blocks. "We have been close to getting one this year," he noted. "We felt like we needed to get it cranked up here for this stretch run. Three or four times this season if we would have gotten a hand out there we might have gotten one. Our guys have been working hard and it finally happened."

Except for the Tigers allowing 152 yards on six kickoff returns, special teams play was a big plus. Kody Bliss had perhaps his best day as a punter, averaging 54.7 yards on three punts, including one that was downed inside the Louisiana-Monroe one-yard line. "Kody did a great job punting. He did some great, great things today."

Fetsko said he hopes the homecoming victory will spark the Tigers to play well against Ole Miss in a key SEC contest coming up next Saturday. "It was important to have a game like this, especially after last week we needed to get out there and execute on both offense and defense as well as get special teams back to where they need to be."

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