“I still have a lot of stuff to work on, but I am playing decent,” Powers tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. “I am just trying to do what I can to help out the team and make some plays.
Powers was involved in a career-high nine tackles and he deflected a pass as the Tigers held Florida to 32 points and 205 yards of total offense below the Gators’ team averages. The Auburn defense didn’t allow Florida a first down until the second quarter.
“It was a fun night,” Powers says. “It was one of those games you will remember for the rest of your life, playing in The Swamp and beating the No. 4 ranked team in the nation. It was exciting.”
It was just as exciting for freshman kicker Wes Byrum, whose 43-yard field goal on the final play of the game earned him SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Byrum is 8-10 on field goals this year and made both of his opportunities vs. the Gators.
Powers notes that he believed that if the Tigers got in field goal range that the freshman kicker would step up and win the game because of how he has performed in practice and games. With the game on the line in the final minutes, Florida couldn’t move on its final possession and was forced to punt on fourth down and 16, setting up the game-winning drive for the Tigers.
“We knew Florida had a great offense and they were going to make some plays, but we just had to stop them there with the game tied,” Powers says. “We had faith in our offense and we knew if we could get them another opportunity they could move the ball and score and that is what happened.”
Powers notes the defense did its part to win the game by following the game plan set up by coordinator Will Muschamp and his assistants Don Dunn, Terry Price and James Willis. “For the defense it was tackling in the open field, playing our assignments, reading our keys, staying focused, not letting the crowd get into it and just coming in there and playing with an attitude,” Powers says. “Those were our keys to winning the game.”
The Tigers return to action at home this Saturday with an 11:30 a.m. game vs. the Vanderbilt Commodores, a team that features the top wide receiver in the SEC, Earl Bennett. Powers notes that he is impressed with the Vandy junior from Birmingham.
“He is a flat-out ballplayer,” says the former Decatur High star. “There are a lot of great athletes who come out of the state of Alabama. I heard about him when I was playing in high school, but I never got to face him. I have seen him on tape from the past couple of years and he is a heck of a player.”
Vandy will bring a 3-1 record to Jordan-Hare Stadium to face the 3-2 Tigers. Both teams are 1-1 in SEC play.
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