Hart Happy After First Auburn Start

Leon Hart comments on his play and Auburn's victory over the Kentucky Wildcats.

Lexington, Ky.--For true sophomore Leon Hart, Saturday's victory over Kentucky is a Saturday he won't soon forget.

Hart got his first collegiate start, taking over at the tackle spot normally played by Troy Reddick, whose streak of 34 consecutive starts was broken when offensive line coach decided to go with Hart. Reddick played in reserve at tackle and center.

"I think I played well," a smiling Hart said in the postgame locker room. "I was running around out there having fun, knocking the mess out of people. I think I had a good game."

Hart waits on the snap against Kentucky.

With Hart opening at tackle, along with Jonathan Palmer at guard, the Tigers had two new starters in the lineup. Palmer replaced Tim Duckworth, who was at home resting a groin pull.

Hart and Palmer normally see limited duty, but got most of the action on a day the Auburn offense was on the field for 70 plays while racking up a season-high 589 total yards.

"I handled it pretty well," Hart said of the extended playing time. "Me and JP (Palmer) were a little bit ‘blowed' because, you know, we have got to get used to that instead of just coming in with the second team."

Hart said he was happy with how he played vs. the Wildcats as Auburn improved its record to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the SEC. "I took a lot of pride in this game because it was my first start," he said. "I think I did good. I went out there and had fun and did what I had to do."

He added that the big day for the offense, including 388 rushing yards, makes an offensive lineman feel special. "That makes it a lot of fun when you are blocking and you know you are doing your job," he said.

However, all things considered, it wasn't one of Auburn's best all-around performances, a point that Hart makes. "There is always room for improvement," he said. "We did good in some phases of the game and then in other phases of the game we need to improve. The main thing we wanted to do was come out and win and get ready for Georgia, which I think we are going to be."

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