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Auburn plays it safe sitting injured center Xavier Dampeer, running back Kamryn Pettway

Auburn offensive lineman Austin Golson, No. 73, was back at center against ULM Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn offensive lineman Austin Golson, No. 73, was back at center against ULM Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

AUBURN, Ala. Auburn didn’t take any chances when it came to playing injured players Saturday in a 58-7 win over ULM.

Coach Gus Malzahn held out center Xavier Dampeer and running back Kamryn Pettway

Malzahn revealed late in the week that Dampeer suffered a leg injury in the second half against LSU. Dampeer didn’t play Saturday with Austin Golson shifting back to center where he started 11 games for the Tigers last year and former Texas transfer Darius James getting his first start at left tackle.

“He really fought through that (last week) and wasn’t able to go,” Malzahn said of Dampeer.

Malzahn gave the reshuffled offensive line high marks.

“They presented a lot of different things with their pressures,” Malzahn said. “They were blitzing from different angles and I thought our guys did a good job of passing the zones off and get our running backs to the second level.”

Auburn quarterback Sean White’s initial assessment without watching film was equally as positive.

“I never noticed anything from that side,” White said. “I thought he did a really good job run blocking. He’s a really hard worker. I like him a lot, he’s one of my favorite guys on the team.”

The bruised quad that Pettway suffered in the second half against LSU was described this week by offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee as “nothing major,” but the team still held him out.

Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson didn’t know Pettway wouldn’t play until today.

“I knew he was a little shaken up, but a lot of things can happen in a day frame,” Johnson said. “The things they can do in terms of rehab and therapy. I knew he was shaken up, but I didn’t know if he was going to play or not. I just had to go in and do my job.”

Auburn lost Malik Miller to injury in the fourth quarter. Miller saw his first extended action of the season in the second half carrying the ball nine times for 48 yards with a touchdown.

The true freshman had to be helped off the field by team trainers.

“I am not sure exactly on his status right now,” Malzahn said. “He took a pretty good lick.”

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