Two-Way Tristan Has His Moment In the Spotlight

The article features a report on Auburn safety and running back, Tristan Davis.

Auburn, Ala.--It was an interesting week and interesting game for Auburn's Tristan Davis. The redshirt freshman had a trial run at tailback during preseason practice but was moved back to strong safety a week ago.

When Auburn built a 56-3 lead late in the fourth quarter against Ball State, Davis got an opportunity to show his stuff at both positions. The Cardinals had a tough time stopping any of Auburn's other tailbacks, so Davis was given a couple of snaps at the position and took advantage, bursting through a huge hole on the left side of the offensive line for a 52-yard score.

The run by Davis put the Tigers up 63-3 as they improved their record to 2-1.

Tristan Davis is shown in defensive mode in Saturday's 63-3 victory over Ball State.

"Coach Gibbs (defensive coordinator David Gibbs) was playing with me on the sidelines saying, ‘I see you over there trying to get in (on offense),' Davis said. ‘I talked to (running backs) Coach (Eddie) Gran and he put me in and I scored then he was like, ‘Now you're going in on defense.' It was an opportunity for me to show my skills that I can play both ways."

The Auburn offensive line opened holes for the backs all afternoon, and Davis says he knew he was going to score once he took the hand off and looked up field.

"Once I got to the linebackers I saw what position the safeties were in," he said. "I knew with my speed I could take it to the house. I practiced all week on defense, but working during two-a-days on offense. I know the whole scheme so it was pretty easy.

"The schemes might change a little bit (from game to game), but the plays are basically the same," Davis added. "When they called the play I knew what I had. I knew what the blockers were going to do so as I recognized the coverage I just knew what to do. Coach Gran coaches you up well enough to know what everybody is doing. Just take it from there and just run."

Then it was time for Davis to get his snaps on the defensive side of the ball. Two plays later the young tailback/safety was credited with the tackle.

"I kind of liked laying the big hit (rather than scoring the touchdown)," he said. "Touchdowns are okay, but I just like to hit. It was real fun. I was kind of tired, but I feel better about it now."

Davis played both ways at Tri-Cities High School in East Point, Ga., and said that his two-way performance was nothing out of the ordinary.

"It's a typical Tristan Davis-type thing I would like to think," he said. "We played against a team where we could do things like that on. I just went out there and did what the coaches told me to do."

Head coach Tommy Tuberville said he was happy to see Davis get the opportunity to make plays on both offense and defense after he did the heavy work in two-a-days and throughout preseason at running back when there were injuries to other tailbacks.

"He got beat up in two-a-days as the fourth running back," said Tuberville, who moved Davis to offense after Tre Smith had an appendectomy which caused him to miss much of the preseason contact work.


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