GAINESVILLE, FLA. — Marlon Davidson said he found Kyle Trask in the chaos after the game. He said he apologized to the quarterback. He said he told him he was praying for him.
Davidson took the high road — regardless of whether Auburn’s standout defensive end even had anything for which to apologize.
Davidson appeared to be shoved by a Florida offensive lineman into the Florida starting quarterback’s legs on a first-half play that saw him roll up on Trask’s legs and leave him injured with an apparent knee sprain during the teams’ game Saturday in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Florida head coach Dan Mullen suggested to CBS on the TV broadcast’s halftime interview that it was a ‘dirty’ play.
Davidson said it was hard to even respond to that, said his heart hurt for Trask and that he was pushed into his legs. Trask returned to the game after being evaluated in the locker room.
“I was just trying to make a play, to be honest,” Davidson said. “The tackle, he was pushing me down, but at the end of the day man, I felt really bad for Trask, man. I really did. It hurt. It really did.
“I was out of it for a moment, because you don’t ever want to see that happen to player.”
Curiously, in his postgame press conference, Mullen then said that he didn’t see the actual play and only saw a replay.
“Hopefully the league really tries to keep quarterback safe from dirty plays,” he said to CBS at halftime.
Davidson is a key part of the Auburn defense and projected by analysts to be a high pick in the spring’s NFL Draft.
Saturday, though, he said he was just a player whose heart hurt for another fellow football player.
“I mean, it’s hard to say,” Davidson said, when asked for a response to what Mullen said. “When I’m out there to play, I always play between the rules. I’m always out there trying to take care of each other, and they should take care of me, too.
“But I was devastated after that. I went to the sideline and my coach had to pull me to the side and say, ‘Man, you just got to continue to play football,’ because my mind was all on him. Like, ‘I hope he gets up, I hope he feels better, I hope it’s nothing serious.’ Because, at the end of the day, man, it’s football. You want to see everybody be great.”
Carlson ice cold
Cool sophomore kicker Anders Carlson drilled a 48-yard field goal to give Auburn its first points early in the game, quieting the rumbling Swamp.
Carlson trotted onto the field midway through the first quarter with his team trailing 7-0, and Florida’s dreaded home-field advantage at full throat.
He drilled his kick, then later in the quarter calmly booted through a 39-yard field goal to make it 7-6.
Carlson also drilled Auburn’s SEC-record 300th consecutive extra point in the first half. That one made it a 14-13 game and made him a perfect 67-for-67 on extra points in his career.
Trask comes back
The Swamp fell into a hushed silence when Trask, Florida’s redshirt junior quarterback, went down late in the first quarter.
After several worrying moments, Trask was helped up and slowly headed for the Florida locker room to applause from both Florida and Auburn fans.
In his place, third-string Florida quarterback Emory Jones came on, leading Florida on a 10-play, 51-yard scoring drive that resulted in Florida’s second-quarter field goal which put the Gators up 17-13 and gave the game its halftime score.
Jones played admirably, firing for completions of 14 yards and 20 yards while pushing Florida down the field. He was in on the last nine plays of the scoring drive. Trask’s incompletion was the drive’s first play.
Trask entered the season as Florida’s second-string quarterback. Florida’s first starter Feleipe Franks was injured in a game against Kentucky in mid-September, and is slated to miss the rest of the season.
Later in the second quarter, The Swamp erupted to raucous cheers when Trask ran back out of the locker room and re-joined his Gators teammates on the sideline.
Trask checked back into the game with less than two minutes to go in the first half.