Auburn might be without top receiver Blake
by Charles Bennett
Oct 03, 2011 | 5277 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AUBURN — Auburn could be without its top two wide receivers when the Tigers play Arkansas on Saturday.

Emory Blake, the Tigers’ top pass-catching threat, is listed as “day-to-day,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said Sunday.

Blake suffered a foot injury in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 16-13 victory over South Carolina.

He returned for a few plays after the injury but was visibly hobbling and left the game.

“He’s going to be day-to-day and we’ll just have to see as the week goes,” Chizik said.

Blake, whose streak of catching a touchdown pass in consecutive games ended at seven, has 19 receptions for 333 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Trovon Reed, who missed Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury, is out indefinitely.

Chizik confirmed Reed’s injury will keep him out for an extended period but did not say whether Reed would be out for the season.

Although tailback Onterio McCalebb is second on the team in receptions with 15, Reed is second among wide receivers with 13 for 91 yards.

Chizik mentioned DeAngelo Benton, Quan Bray and Jaylon Denson as possibilities for more playing time at wide receiver if Blake is unable to go.

Benton impressed Chizik with a catch on third-and-13 on Auburn’s game-winning drive against the Gamecocks.

“I was really proud of DeAngelo Benton,” Chizik said. “It was third-and-13. Barrett (Trotter) had one guy draped over him and another one coming. He probably put the ball in the only place he could have put it without it being either intercepted or knocked down. DeAngelo really made a fantastic clutch catch at the right time. So whether it’s DeAngelo or Quan Bray or Jaylon Denson or somebody, those are the guys. Somebody’s going to have to step up.”

Trotter also was impressed with Benton’s catch.

“It was as tight a window as it ever could be,” Trotter said. “He made a great catch. Somehow that ball got through there. Obviously, that was a huge play to help us on that last drive.”

Benton has two catches this season for 56 yards. Could he take on a bigger role for the Tigers? Trotter thinks so.

“Yeah, it would mean a lot,” Trotter said. “Anytime we can get Emory in there and get him the ball, we’re going to, but at the same time, we’ve got all the faith in the world in (Benton) that he can step in there and hopefully take some of those reps off Emory and do some great things for us.”

Auburn has other options, most notably Travante Stallworth, who has 10 receptions for 110 yards.

Also expect tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen to pick up some of the receiving slack. Lutzenkirchen caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the victory over South Carolina.

“He’s a guy who can do a lot of different stuff,” Trotter said. “A lot of plays, he’s blocking, blocking, blocking, and then you slip him out on a route and I guess the defense can kind of forget about him, as hard as that is to believe. I feel like he’s a guy who is going to make a play on the ball and give us a good chance at getting in the end zone.”

One thing Trotter isn’t concerned about is trying to match whatever numbers Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson may manage to put up.

Wilson passed for 515 yards and three touchdowns in the Razorbacks’ 42-38 victory over Texas A&M Saturday.

“We’re focused on the defense,” Trotter said. “I don’t watch any film on anybody else’s offense. I could care less what he thinks he can do or what he’s done in the past. I don’t really care as long as the defense knows what he’s doing. I’m going to leave it up to them.”

Charles Bennett covers Auburn University sports for The Star. Follow him on Twitter @AUTigers_Star
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