Around the Tigers: Redshirt freshman Delaine out for season

LaDarius Owens will fill in for the injured Delaine who is out for the season with a knee injury.

Auburn coach Gene Chizik said redshirt freshman defensive end Justin Delaine “is not going to be back this year” after suffering a knee injury on special teams early in the Tigers’ 41-34 win over Mississippi State on Saturday.

“Without going into details, it happened in the game Saturday,” Chizik said. “I think everybody saw that.”

Delaine recorded two tackles with 0.5 TFL in the season opener against Utah State.

Redshirt freshman LaDarius Owens — who saw his first collegiate action at defensive end Saturday, recording an assisted tackle — will be expected to fill in for Delaine at third-team end.

Owens switched to end from linebacker over the summer.

“LaDarius is working really hard getting adjusted to putting his hand down,” Chizik said. “But he’s improving.”

Chizik also said the “anticipation” is the team will have to use medical hardships on offensive linemen Ed Christian — a redshirt freshman — and Aubrey Phillips — a sophomore — meaning their Tiger careers are likely over.

Both will get to continue receiving scholarship assistance and not count against the Tigers’ 85-man count.

Neither have played a snap at Auburn.

Christian missed all of spring and fall practice with a back issue dating to last season, and Phillips had to be pulled out of Auburn’s fall camp in each of the two years — 2009 and 2011 — he participated.

Phillips suffered a non-football medical malady two years ago, leading to him leaving the team and university. The 6-foot-5, 336-pounder from Olive Branch, Miss., returned to the Tigers in the spring, but suffered an unspecified injury the first week of fall practice and did not return.

CB Davis shines vs. MSU
Phillip Lolley has seen a bunch of great college cornerbacks come through Auburn’s system, including Carlos Rogers, Patrick Lee, Jonathan Wilhite, Walt McFadden and Jerraud Powers.

He said sophomore Chris Davis’ performance Saturday rivals any that those players put up in during their time at Auburn.

“(Davis had) as fine a game as I’ve seen. I mean, as far as the hustle, getting after it,” Lolley said. “I look at the technique and the toughness and all those type things and whether you’re hitting people and tackling. But he’d come off man-to-man several times and made tackles back inside just because he was able to control the line of scrimmage.

“He did some very good things.”

Lolley said he doesn’t think Davis gave up a catch in man-to-man coverage against the Bulldogs.

“That’s pretty hard to do,” Lolley said. “He was able to be very physical in the game, make some physical plays. So he had a good ballgame.”

More role for Mason
Running backs coach Curtis Luper has seen enough from freshman Tre Mason on special teams to know he needs to see more of him in the backfield.

“You’ll see more of him,” Luper said. “We need to spread the ball around — and we will.”

Mason, who is averaging 34.8 yards a kick return, rushed three times for 14 yards against Mississippi State, following a one-carry, 2-yard performance in the season opener against Utah State.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be taking carries from Mike Dyer and Onterio McCalebb.

“We’ll just make it work,” Luper said. “They’re all going to get their touches.”

Wisner’s return
Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor liked what senior Jay Wisner brought to the field as far as his “experience” Saturday.

But if Wisner, who left the team for unspecified reasons last year only to return earlier this fall, drops another pass like he did against the Bulldogs, that experience might not go very far.

“The only way he’ll catch it is if they throw it away because he’ll be on the sidelines,” Taylor said. “He knows that as well as anybody. And really it’s probably my fault for putting him out there too soon.

“He had only been out there for a week, but that tells you the confidence that I have in him.”

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