Auburn notebook: McKinzy seen on sideline with neck brace
by Joe Medley and Ryan Black
Oct 05, 2013 | 2034 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At right, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn looks on as injured player Cassanova McKinzy is taken off the field. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
At right, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn looks on as injured player Cassanova McKinzy is taken off the field. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
AUBURN — Auburn linebacker Cassanova McKinzy went down on the final play of the first quarter Saturday and was immobilized and carted off the field after a lengthy delay.

McKinzy was chasing Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace on the play and appeared to grab him from behind when Auburn defensive tackle Montravius Adams swept around from the front and leg-whipped him.

Auburn officials announced McKinzy was being treated for a neck injury, but that he had feeling in his extremities. He was transported for East Alabama Regional Medical Center.

He returned to the sideline in the second half, still in uniform but wearing a neck brace.

The sophomore entered the game as Auburn’s second-leading tackler with 21, four behind star Robenson Therezie.

Off the charts

Auburn showed how little the depth chart can mean Saturday.

Despite not being listed on its updated two-deep Wednesday, Chris Davis made his return to the starting lineup versus Ole Miss. The senior corner missed the Tigers’ past two games with what was thought to be an ankle injury, though the team never disclosed the nature of his ailment.

In his absence, Ryan White started Auburn’s past two contests opposite Jonathon Mincy.

Davis didn’t take long to make his presence felt, finishing with four tackles (three solo) in the first half, tied for a game high.

The other change to Auburn’s starting lineup Saturday night came on the defensive line. Gabe Wright reclaimed his starting spot at one of the Tigers’ tackle spots, moving back ahead of Ben Bradley.

He took the field with the first-team defense in the season opener against Washington State but was overtaken by Bradley beginning with the Arkansas State game and continuing through he Mississippi State and LSU contests.

Wright finished the first half with one tackle, which counted for a loss.

Another spot for Frazier

When you’ve played in as many spots as Kiehl Frazier, what’s one more?

After warming up with the receivers during Saturday’s pregame, the junior made a brief appearance in the slot during the second quarter. He also caught passes with receivers before the Mississippi State game, but only entered as a “Wildcat” quarterback.

Frazier led Auburn in passing yards last season with 753, but dropped out of the team’s four-way quarterback race during preseason camp and moved to safety. However, he has not taken the field with the defense this season.

Military appreciation

For the second straight year, Auburn hosted a Military Appreciation Day, honoring those on active duty as well as those who once served in the armed forces.

Before kickoff, the Black Diamond jet team conducted a pregame flyover at the controls of Aero L39 Albatross jets. Four members of the Wounded Warriors also took part in the pregame coin toss at midfield, while multiple Auburn University veterans were recognized throughout the night.

The Auburn University Marching Band took on a military theme for its halftime performance, which incorporated veterans from each branch of the armed forces.

The Tigers’ coaching staff also showed its support, donning military appreciation patches on the sleeve of their shirts.

Booing their own

Boos were heard as Auburn’s starting defense was announced over the Jordan-Hare Stadium public address Saturday, and they came after the name of mike linebacker Jake Holland was announced.

It’s unusual to hear home fans boo one of their own players, let alone a non-quarterback.

Holland entered Saturday’s game as Auburn’s sixth-leading tackler with 17. He is a senior and third-year starter (he had six starts in 2011).

But he often is seen as a liability for Auburn’s defense, especially against the run, begging the question, why does he continue to start?

One assumes the answer, and it might be disquieting for Auburn fans. Auburn’s coaches clearly believe they don’t have a better option at that position.

Cancer-free Evans

Before Saturday’s game, Auburn women’s golf coach Kim Evans was introduced as “cancer-free” and applauded. Wearing a cap, she waved to the crowd.

Evans underwent five months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May. On Wednesday, doctors informed her that she’s cancer-free.

Evans has coached Auburn’s women’s golf team for 20 years and plans to return to work, though it’s uncertain when. The team, which finished sixth at the NCAA championships in the spring, is playing its fall season.

Up next

Auburn (4-1, 2-1 SEC) gets a schedule break against Western Carolina at home Saturday. Kickoff is 1 p.m., and television is pay-per-view.

Western Carolina is 1-5 after losing 42-21 at Chattanooga on Saturday. The Catamounts also lost 62-23 to Samford on Sept. 28.

After playing WCU, Auburn will play at Texas A&M on Oct. 19.
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