AUBURN | Jay Prosch knew the liquid dripping down his face two weeks ago was more sinister than sweat.
Not that he cared.
Auburn's fullback suffered a deviated naval septum, one step below a broken nose, during the Tigers' win at Tennessee Nov. 9. As the blood streamed down his face, though, his only concern was how long the team's trainers would need to stop the flow.
Answer: One play too long. Auburn scored on the next snap.
"It kind of made (me) feel like a monster when something like that happens," Prosch said Tuesday night. "You love it. I was eating it up and the ref finally told me I had to get out of the game. They cleaned me up and I was out the next drive. That's fullback for you."
Prosch's toughness never has been questioned.
He's one of the team's strongest players, though he freely admits that defensive end Dee Ford, who's in the gym so often that he jokingly asks if he can sleep there, is on a different level when it comes to fitness. Still, nobody has shown more grit and determination than Prosch, who left a good role at Illinois to become part of one of the worst Auburn teams in a generation last year.
Things have been different this season.
Prosch struggled throughout September while working through a painful thumb injury and adjusting his game to coach Gus Malzahn's specifications. While at Illinois and during his first year on the Plains, Prosch was used primarily as a lead blocker in straightforward run plays.
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