Happy Return for Tristan Davis

Auburn football senior Tristan Davis made his 2008 debut in Auburn's victory over Southern Miss.

Auburn, Ala.--As soon as senior running back Tristan Davis saw left guard Tyronne Green take out a Southern Miss defender, he knew the end zone was his.

Davis scored on his first carry Saturday, rushing around left end for 13 yards for the touchdown to help Auburn defeat Southern Miss 27-13.

"I saw Tyronne pull out on somebody and I knew he had them," Davis said. "All I had to do was run as fast as I could. I always said I would celebrate when I scored, but when I got into the end zone, I didn't even think about it."

Davis said the touchdown run reminded him of a similar play three years ago.

"All I was thinking was it was like a repeat of 2005 against Kentucky," he said. "I scored on my first play then, too."

In 2005, Davis rushed 75 yards for a touchdown on his first carry of the game against the Wildcats.

But it's been a long time since then.

In 2006, he was moved to defense and lit up the field on special teams, setting an Auburn single-season record and leading the SEC with 756 kickoff return yards on 28 returns.

In 2007, he was moved back to offense, but missed four games with a toe injury. He returned for the Florida game but injured a foot and missed six more games.

"I've had a hectic career," he said. "I've been moved from offense to defense and back to offense. Just when I was settling in on offense, I got hurt. But this year I'm healthy, and I'm ready to go."

Now, he's just waiting his turn to play. Davis is Auburn's third-string running back behind Brad Lester and Ben Tate.

"Today was a little flash of what I can do," he said.

In the third quarter, Davis caught a 20-yard pass from quarterback Chris Todd and made a bruising run with it, spinning away from would-be tacklers to pick up the Auburn first down.

On the next play, however, he injured his ankle on a two-yard run. "I was nervous at first, but when I started walking on it, the pain got better."

Davis left the game temporarily, but returned in the fourth quarter and said he is fine.

"My ankle just got rolled," he said. "Nothing major."

In all, Davis rushed twice for a total of 15 yards and the touchdown. He also caught a 20-yard pass.

Davis noted he's ready to step up and become a factor in Auburn's new offense. "This offense works when you do the little things," he said. "Coach tells us, you're never going to be a superstar every week. We made big strides from last week. We make small plays, and those small plays lead to big plays."

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