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Superman that ho


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Just more than a week ago, Lester finally learned what his punishment would be for what has been termed an academic issue. He was suspended for six games, starting with the Cotton Bowl.

He came back on Saturday. And he came back in style, rushing for 77 yards on 13 carries and scoring two touchdowns in Auburn’s 35-7 rout of Vanderbilt.

Lester said the feeling was overwhelming as he waited to take the field with his teammates.

“It was a great feeling,” Lester said. “We all lock up before the game, and I was just standing there. They were like ‘Hey, it’s time to go’. It was huge for me, especially not playing since last November. It was huge to just step into this stadium today and be able to play.”

Lester said his teammates wouldn’t let him get down as he endured the layoff.

“I think they were the best thing for me,” Lester said. “Being around the team and meetings, I think that was the best thing. Ben (Tate), Mario (Fannin), Danny Perry, all those guys made me feel like I was still on the team.”

But they couldn’t make it easy.

 ”It was tough not being able to play,” Lester said, “especially watching your team lose and knowing you were supposed to be the starting running back.”

Once on the field, Lester said he quickly felt at home.

“As the game went on, I started feeling more and more like myself,” Lester said. “It comes from Coach Gran and Coach Tub giving me a lot of reps at practice. Even though I wasn’t playing, they still had confidence in me.

“Brad brings quickness and a change of tempo,” Tuberville said. “He’ll get better. He was nervous. Here’s a guy who has been with us for four years and he was nervous like it was his first day of playing college football. He has been in some tough games and has done some great things for us. He got hit a little bit. He’ll get better.”

Lester smiled at two comments that he was nervous. He agreed. Sort of.

“It might have entered my head for a second, then I thought about it,” Lester said. “I thought ‘I’m a junior. I don’t get nervous.’ ”

Lester split carries with sophomore Tate and redshirt freshman Fannin, who have carried the load in his absence.

“It was a lot of fun,” Lester said. “I’m around Ben and Mario every day. We all have fun at practice and just hanging out. It was a little different up until today.”

Tate, who led the Tigers with 96 yards on nine carries, said he welcomed Lester back. He sad sharing the football will be good for the offense.

“Definitely,” Tate said. “Football is a tough sport. It will wear on your body. It’s a good thing. Any running back would love to get it 30 times and score five touchdowns, but that’s not reality.”

Asked about possibly going into a shell because of Lester’s return, Tate looked perplexed.

“I’m 800 miles from home,” Tate said. “Why would I go 800 miles to go into a shell just because another running back came back?”

Lester said there will be enough carries for everybody.

“I think we are going to be a good combination,” Lester said. “They are trying to find ways to get all three of us on the field. You can’t focus on one guy. I think that’s the best thing for the team.”

The win Saturday marked the 100th of Tuberville’s college career. He is 75-31 in nine seasons at Auburn and was 25-20 in four years at Ole Miss. Tuberville has an overall record of 100-51.

Auburn is now 42-0 under Tuberville when scoring at least 30 points in a game. Auburn has won 47 consecutive games when scoring 30 or more.

With the win, Auburn now holds a 20-19-1 all-time record against Vanderbilt. The Tigers have won the last 12 meetings.

Auburn’s 1957 National Championship football team was honored at halftime. Auburn wore white jerseys and pants, helmets without the AU logo and gray facemasks to commemorate the 50-year anniversary.

Senior King Dunlap played at left tackle for the first time in three weeks since injuring his elbow and being replaced in the starting lineup by Pugh. Dunlap subbed for Pugh on AU’s fourth offensive series of the first half.

Dunlap played most of the second half as Pugh moved to center to replace the injured Bosley.

QB Blake Field saw his first action of the season on the punt return team.

Auburn held VU receiver Earl Bennett to a season-low 31 yards on four catches.

Auburn will travel to Arkansas next week to face the Razorbacks. Game time is set for 6:45 p.m. CT and will be televised nationally by ESPN.

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