Sophomore Sims Steps Up For Tigers

Defensive tackle Pat Sims contributed to Auburn's Cotton Bowl victory.

Dallas, Tex.--For reserve defensive tackle Pat Sims, his performance against the Nebraska Cornhuskers may be a preview of coming attractions.

Sims deflected a pass, jammed up the running lanes, sacked the quarterback and generally played an all-around strong game in Auburn's 17-14 bowl victory on New Year's Day.

"I went out there and tried to do what my team asked of me and I gave my best," says Sims, a 6-4, 304-pound sophomore who quit the team last fall, but had a change of heart and was allowed to return to the team.

"The whole game came out great," says Sims. "I don't if that was my best game as a college football player, but there are going to be plenty more to come. I promise that."

The Tigers gave up two touchdown drives in the first half, but put the brakes on Nebraska's high-powered offense in the second half, holding the Cornhuskers to just 73 yards after intermission.

"We just started communicating better and we got more focused in the second half," Sims says. "That is all Coach (Don Dunn) asked us to do and we came out and played much better."

Dunn, the veteran defensive line coach, says he liked what he saw from Sims. "Watching from the sideline, it looked like Pat played his best game. He has been focused. I am so proud of him with the way how he has fought through his problems.

"Pat has grown up," Dunn adds. "There are good things ahead for him. It looked like he played his heart out."

Pat Sims is shown in action during Auburn's 17-14 win at the Cotton Bowl.

Dunn notes that he was pleased with how the defense played in the third and fourth quarters. "We gave up some points early due to mental mistakes against some things we have seen, but we played well after that. We challenged them at halftime. I am real proud of everybody. It was a team victory."

The Tigers earned their 11th win of the season and the seniors picked up their 41st career victory, which is a big deal, Sims says. "This is Auburn's winningest senior class and we really enjoyed sending them out on a good note. We had our ups and downs today. I just thank God that we came out and played well in the second half and sent our seniors out as winners."

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