The final member of Auburn’s three-headed monster at tailback not to eclipse 100 rushing yards in a game finally did that while trying to fuel Auburn’s comeback in Saturday night’s 35-21 loss to No. 6 LSU.
Stepping up as Auburn’s featured and only consistent threat out of the backfield, Tre Mason racked up 132 rushing yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.
In the first half, Mason gained 56 yards on 9 carries, averaging 6.2 yards an attempt with no lost-yardage plays.
The second half, though, Mason turned it on, carrying 17 times for 76 yards and a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs.
On Auburn’s first touchdown drive, Mason practically carried Auburn’s offense on his back, including rushing four consecutive times for 28 yards, including a 17-yard run to the LSU 2.
Mason’s effort moved him into 28th place on Auburn’s career rushing list with 1,501 yards. On Saturday, Mason passed Mitzi Jackson (1,373 yards from 1973-75) and Monk Gafford (1,414 yards from 1940-42) on the Tigers’ all-time list.
Denson carted off with injury: Auburn junior receiver Jaylon Denson was carted off the field with possible ligament damage to his left knee after he fell awkwardly during Auburn’s first series on offense.
Denson, who never returned, got turned around on an overthrown pass by quarterback Nick Marshall and appeared to slip on the wet Tiger Stadium turf trying to gain footing to jump.
Auburn’s training staff was performing ligament tests for several minutes, and an air brace was put around his left knee to stabilize it before he was carted off the field.
Denson was taken for X-rays at LSU, but was not taken to the hospital. Results of the X-rays are not yet known.
Sanders, Davis don’t make trip: Auburn’s beleaguered defense suffered another blow Saturday when it was announced that a second senior starter, defensive end Craig Sanders, did not make the trip because of an unspecified ankle injury.
Senior cornerback Chris Davis also didn’t travel with the team, missing his second consecutive game with a left ankle injury suffered late in the Arkansas State victory.
For the second consecutive game, senior defensive back Ryan White started in place of Davis at cornerback, while Quan Bray handled his kick-return duties on special teams. White finished with four total tackles and two pass breakups.
White also recorded the first fumble recovery of his career in the first half.
Dee Ford, a senior who returned from injury last week against Mississippi State, started in place of Sanders and finished with one tackle and an assist on a tackle for a loss.
Senior defensive tackle Jeffrey Whittaker also missed the game.
LSU’s Hill has career night: LSU running back Jeremy Hill, making his second-career start, broke loose for a career-high rushing performance in the first half Saturday.
Hill finished with 184 rushing yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns.
Hill had touchdown runs on his first two carries of the game, running up the middle for 49 yards and then adding a 10-yard score on his next attempt 1:20 later after a turnover on downs by Auburn.
Hill also added a 54-yard run to the Auburn 1 on his eighth carry in the second quarter, eclipsing 140 yards for the night on the run, which was the longest rushing play against Auburn this season. LSU fullback J.C. Copeland punched it in from 1 yard out on the next play to put LSU up 21-0 after its fourth offensive possession of the game.
Etc.: Punter Steven Clark now ranks seventh among Auburn career punt leaders with 167 punts for 6,718 yards. He passed Jon Kilgore (163 punts from 1962-64). … Sophomore wide receiver Ricardo Louis had a career night — in the first half. Louis caught four passes for 23 yards in the first two quarters. He finished with five catches for 24 yards. … Auburn sophomore wide receiver Sammie Coates’ 52-yard pass from Marshall toward the end of the third quarter was the longest play the LSU defense has given up this season.