Dream Becomes Reality For Byrum

True freshman kicker Wes Byrum talks about his game winning kick against the Florida Gators.

Gainesville, Fla.--Many on Auburn's sidelines may have been nervous and senior quarterback Brandon Cox even admitted he was about the throw up but the calmest person on the field for the Tigers' final play was the most important and that was true freshman kicker Wes Byrum.

After driving the ball 35 yards in 10 plays, using up all but the final three seconds of 3:41 remaining in the game, Auburn was down to just one play and it all rested on the foot of the freshman. Things looked great as Byrum calmly booted the ball through only to have to do it twice because of a very late timeout given to the Florida Gators.

"After I hit it I turned and saw the ref blowing the whistle so I figured I was going to have to kick another one," Byrum says. "I was a little bit more comfortable because I had just hit that one. I just took my steps back and got focused again."

Stepping up a second time, Byrum knocked it home and will forever live in Auburn history as the freshman that gigged the Gators in The Swamp.

"I was pretty excited," Byrum says about getting the opportunity to win the game. "I had a rough week last week so I practiced real hard this week getting ready. I knew it was going to be a close game. Over on the sidelines I warmed up good and went out and did it."

"Pretty much when I hit it, from kicking a lot, you pretty much know when it hits your foot if it's going to go," he adds. "When I lifted my head I saw it up in the middle and I just started celebrating."

Preparing to go on the field for the eventual game-winner, Byrum followed his usual routine of kicking into the net on the sidelines. That is made a little different at Florida because of the closeness of the fans to the field for one and secondly because right behind that portion of Auburn's bench is Florida's student section. While it might have bothered some to be berated for an entire game, the confident freshman says it actually was fun for him.

"It was awesome," Byrum says. "They were yelling at me the whole game. I have been called things I've never gotten called before. It actually helped me get motivated a little bit."

A Florida native, Byrum says the game was one he'll remember for a long time. Not only did he have the chance to win a Southeastern Conference game but it was against the home state Gators and on the road. All that makes for a dream scenario, a dream that Byrum says he's lived many times before.

"It doesn't get any better than that," Byrum says. "That's a dream situation to be in with three seconds left."


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