AU-WSU News, Notes & Quotes, Part 1

Reese Dismukes

Opening night was much happier for the Tigers--especially team captain Reese Dismukes.

Auburn, Ala.--Shortly before Tiger Walk, junior center Reese Dismukes was informed by Coach Gus Malzahn that he would join senior defensive back/punt returner

Chris Davis as a captain for the home opener. That was quiet a turnaround for the 2011 All-SEC Freshman selection, who has started 24 games for the Tigers. For the opener last year, Dismukes was suspended for off-field team rules violations.

All spring and fall coaches and teammates talked about Dismukes stepping up and becoming a leader for the Tigers in an effort to put his previous problems behind him.

"It was an honor when Coach Malzahn told me I was going to be a captain," the junior said. "Last year I was at home and watched our opening game with Clemson on television. That's not something I want to happen again."

Dismukes was also happy with an opening-game victory following at 3-9 season in 2012. He was also pleased that Auburn was able to rev up its run game to the tune of 310 yards to help keep Washington State's prolific offense off the field. He led the Tiger offensive line that played the entire game without substitution.

In addition to Dismukes, the starters were Greg Robinson and Patrick Miller at the tackles and Chad Slade and redshirt freshman Alex Kozan making his first start at the guards.

Like Auburn, the Cougars won only three games last year.

"They are going to win more games than that this year," Dismukes predicted. "They are a pretty good team with a lot of returning starters."

As for the Tigers, the junior center sees brighter days ahead. "We made a lot of mistakes, but we will get better with more experience. We just have to keep working hard and correcting our mistakes."

News And Notes:

*Junior college transfer Nick Marshall became the eighth starting quarterback under Gus Malzahn as a college offensive coordinator or head coach against Washington State. Previous starters under Malzhan when he was Auburn's offensive coordinator were Chris Todd in 2009, Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton in the Tigers' 2010 National Championship season and Barrett Trotter in 2011.

*A new head coach and a first-time quarterback haven't made their debut at Auburn at the same time since Coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan returned home to coach the Tigers in 1951.

*Auburn is 93-26-2 all time in opening games and 96-16-3 home openers at Jordan-Hare Stadium, including seven straight wins in home openers. The Tigers are in their 121st season, including 74 in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

*Malzahn continued a trend of successful debuts by Auburn coaches. Since World War II coaches debuting for Auburn are 9-1.

*The undefeated 1993 team that finished 11-0 under first-year Tiger Head Coach Terry Bowden was recognized during Saturday's game. That team was on probation and didn't play in a bowl game, but finished ranked No. 4 in the nation.

*Saturday, Aug. 31 was the 13th anniversary of Tiger's first tether-free flight around Jordan-Hare Stadium. A golden eagle, Tiger is now 33 years old and retired at the Southeastern Raptor Center in Auburn. Nova performed the pre-game flight against Washington State.

*Auburn is 2-0 against Washington State after Saturday's 31-24 win over the Cougars. The Tigers defeated the Cougars 40-14 in the 2006 season. Auburn is 8-3 against teams from the Pac-12.

*Rodney Garner and Dameyune Craig are the first pair of former Auburn football lettermen to be on the coaching staff at the same time since Garner and the late Curt Crain were on the staff from 1993-95.

*First-time starters for Auburn against Washington State were defensive ends Craig Sanders and LaDarius Owens, Star Robenson Therezie, quarterback Nick Marshall and offensive guard Alex Kozan.

*Tre Mason's eight-yard touchdown rush in the first quarter was the 10th TD of his career.

*Ryan White's two-point conversion run was the first Auburn two-point conversion since 2006 versus Alabama; that two-point PAT was a pass from Carl Stewart to Lee Guess.

*Cody Parkey's 47-yard field goal in the second quarter was the longest of his career. His previous best was a 46-yarder against Clemson in the 2012 season opener.

*Miss America Mallory Hagan, an Opelika native who briefly attended Auburn University before moving to New York City, was introduced in the first half. She is a 2007 graduate of Opelika High.

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