If Horn turns out to be a star or even just a role player down the road for the Auburn football Tigers, a junior varsity game on Nov. 1, 2001 will be remembered as his coming out party.
Victor Horn (33) rushed for 122 yards on 13 carries.
Horn, a redshirt freshman, and true freshman wide receiver Silas Daniels were the most impressive players on the Auburn offense Thursday night as the Tigers played the nation's top-ranked junior college team. The game was tied 14-14 at halftime before GMC pulled away for a 31-14 victory in the second half.
Walk-on Marshall Thornton (27) played fullback and even got some work on defense at linebacker.
Despite Auburn putting in just two hour-long practices in preparation for GMC, a crowd of 3,206 was treated to competitive football for a half on a beautiful, balmy, blue moon indian summer evening. Daniels returned a kickoff 43 yards and had a nice 10-yard punt return to go with four receptions for 75 yards. Horn caught 13 passes for 122 yards and scored a touchdown on a 52-yard burst on the second play of the night.
"It was good for everybody who played in this game because we all gained some experience," says Horn, who has been stuck on the scout team all season. "Me playing at running back helped me gain some experience as well."
Jacob Allen went the distance at QB for the Auburn team. He hit 6-14 passes for 75 yards.
Horn says that he loves playing football and especially running back, the position he played very well as a high school star in Huntsville before signing with the Tigers. After not qualifying academically, he spent a season at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia where he got eligible, but saw little action at running back after being moved from the position early in the season.
After failed experiments at whip, inside linebacker and wide receiver, Horn was sent to the scout team where he played several positions before landing at tailback in preparations for the Florida game. That seemed to light a fire under the redshirt freshman and he has picked up his practice pace since then.
"I was having fun when I was moved back to running back because I love the game of football," Horn says. "I just believe if I continue to work hard, and do what I am supposed to do, someday it will pay of for me."
Horn had praise for the Auburn offensive line. "Our guys played hard and they opened up some nice holes for me. I appreciate that. I think it was good for all of us to play against somebody different than the same guys we see in practice everyday. It was fun for me personally to see what I could do because I haven't played running back in a game for two years."
Lamel Ages got plenty of action at cornerback.
Tiger Ticket Extra: Redshirt freshman cornerback Lamel Ages was one of the most impressive players on the Auburn defense in the scrimmage. The redshirt freshman walk-on from Carver High in Columbus, Ga., hopes to follow in the footsteps of former high school teammate Roderick Hood and earn a scholarship as a defensive back. There were no passes completed in the territory he patrolled. "It was very fun, it was a learning experience and some exposure," Ages says. "I just tried to go out and execute my technique and do the fundamentals like the coaches had taught us." Ages says the opposition, Georgia Military College, was a tough opponent. "I think they are one of the top juco teams in the nation. We just practiced for a couple of days, did a base offense and a base defense and just tried to execute and we tried to do the best we can."
Offensive lineman Rich Trucks played with other reserve offensive linemen Nate French, Ryan Broome, Steve Goula, Jeremy Ingle and Ryan Hockett, who played tight end. Trucks says he enjoyed playing GMC. "This was a great chance to see what we can do and see how we play in a game situation. I could have played better. We will sit down with Coach (Hugh) Nall and look at the film and see what we could have done better. I still have a lot to learn but Coach Nall is a great coach. He will make any corrections that I need to make." Trucks has been practicing at guard recently, but returned to his old position, tackle, for the JV game. Ingle played center and true freshman Danny Lindsey, who has started for the varsity, did not see action. Nall says, "The game film should be very helpful. There is nothing like game action to give you a good idea of what the strengths and weaknesses are." French played guard and Goula played tackle.
Bret Eddins spent the evening chasing QBs at defensive end.
There were a lot of good hits passed in a game that got physical at times. Defensive end Bret Eddins said, "It was fun to get out there and actually get to hit people. I think a lot of us weren't used to the full contact because we don't get to do that at practice. It is a different speed and I think it is good for us."
Dante Booker played defensive tackle for the Tigers.