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Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011

Auburn football notes: Auburn last team in Fooball Bowl Subdivision to lose first fumble of season

- jerickson@ledger-enquirer.com
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Before Tre Mason’s fumble on a kickoff in the third quarter Saturday, Auburn hadn’t lost a fumble all season.

No team -- not even an LSU team that has committed only three turnovers this season -- could claim that distinction. Auburn was the last team left in the Football Bowl Subdivision without a lost fumble.

But free safety Eric Reid took a bead on the freshman return man and knocked the ball loose to set up LSU’s fifth touchdown.

“Our margin for error is zero,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “We’re not good enough for negative things to happen to us and consistently overcome them.”

Clark comes back to earth

Auburn punter Steven Clark had received high praise for his work this season, but he turned in arguably his worst performance against LSU.

Clark punted seven times for a 35.1-yard average. He came into the game averaging 41.2 yards per punt and having a reputation for winning the field-position battle with unreal hang time.

Clark’s hang time was fine Saturday, but he didn’t get enough distance on his punts. He had two punts of 24 yards, a 30-yard punt and a 33-yarder.

Reed back in action

Wide receiver Trovon Reed had been out of action since suffering a shoulder injury against Florida Atlantic, but he made a return to the field against LSU.

Wearing a sleeve on his left arm, Reed turned a quick throw from Clint Moseley into a 25-yard gain up the right sideline and took a vicious hit from LSU cornerback Ron Brooks out-of-bounds.

Reed got up slowly, then returned to the game in the second half and caught a fourth-quarter pass from Moseley.

Quick hits

Wide receiver Emory Blake warmed up but didn’t play for the second straight week. … Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s wife, Kristi, tweeted that LSU’s fans were less than welcoming. “And they are excited to see us,” Kristi tweeted. “Throwing gifts and telling us we are number one!***cough cough.” … LSU’s offensive line changed to rubber shoes because of the rough turf. Divots and tears pockmarked the field.

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