AUBURN, Ala. -- Not even an ankle injury or two missed games can dampen the enthusiasm of cornerback Chris Davis.
The senior has become a team leader for No. 24 Auburn on and off the field.
“I'm just trying to embrace every moment I get,” Davis said. “This is my last year. I'm trying to lead my team in the best way I can.”
Davis missed Auburn’s games against Mississippi State and LSU but returned to the starting lineup for the last two games against Ole Miss and Western Carolina.
He’s looking forward to embracing the moment of this Saturday’s game at No. 7 Texas A&M, which is led by 2012 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel.
“It's always a challenge to play one of the most exciting players in college football,” Davis said. “We're going to go out there and play our best, and hopefully, we'll bring a W back to Auburn.”
Davis will face the challenge of lining up against 6-foot-5 wide receiver Mike Evans, who leads the Aggies with 32 catches for 737 yards and five touchdowns.
“He's one of the top receivers in the SEC, and I think I'm one of the best defensive backs in the SEC, and I think it'll be a good matchup,” Davis said.
Davis said it will be important to stay with Evans or whichever wide receiver he’s covering even when Manziel scrambles.
Chris Davis interview 10-13-13
“In watching a couple of their games, when he's scrambling, when people come off their man, who they're guarding, they usually get open, and he'll throw it down the field to them,” Davis said. “So that's just being disciplined. Eye discipline. Just doing your job.”
It’s not just on defense that Davis is hoping to make a big impact. He expects to return punts against Texas A&M for the first time since the Arkansas State game. He averaged 10.5 yards on two returns in the first two games.
“I think that takes my game to a whole 'nuther level. I think that picks my game up on defense, you know. I love to have the ball in my hands, so I think that's a good thing,” he said.
The Aggies rolled to a 63-21 win over Auburn last season, the first of three blowout SEC losses to end the 2012 season.
But this is a different Auburn team that will step onto Kyle Field Saturday afternoon. The Tigers are 5-1 and looking to pull off an upset and earn a signature win for new head coach Gus Malzahn.
"Malzahn always says, have a next-play mentality. Each and every game, you're going to give up a play, and it just depends on how you come back the next play, how you regroup yourself,” Davis said.
“We're going to face some obstacles this game, you know, but it's going to define us how well we come back and how we face those obstacles.”
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