AUBURN | Casey Dunn made the decision to transfer to Auburn to challenge himself because the two-time FCS All-American felt like he was getting too comfortable at Jacksonville State.
Dunn worked hard during the summer and fall camp to learn the system and adjust to regularly playing against SEC defensive linemen, and went into the season as the backup center and de facto sixth offensive lineman.
An injury to right tackle Darius James against Mercer opened the door for Dunn to slide in with the first-team. A week later he started his first-career game for the Tigers at Missouri.
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“Tonight was just awesome, that’s the only way to put it,” said Dunn of his first Auburn start and a 51-14 win. “We executed. We talked about breakthroughs all week. We practiced like we had a chip on our shoulder. We haven’t been executing like we wanted to on offense. I’m glad we came out and put points on the board.”
Dunn started at center with senior Austin Golson moving from center to right tackle.
“I think he played very well,” Golson said. “He communicated well. I think we got hats on hats most of the whole night.”
Auburn’s offensive line paved the way for 263 rushing yards, the second-most this season. Kerryon Johnson returned from an injury to rush for a career-high five touchdowns.
“They were excellent,” said Johnson of the offensive line. “They do a lot of stunting and twisting and turning so it was going to be a challenge for our o-line. But they picked it up and they gapped things off and they closed up holes and allowed me to get through them.”
The next step for Dunn, who is a senior and in Auburn’s community planning graduate program, will be playing in his first SEC home game against No. 24 Mississippi State this Saturday.
“I’m definitely ready for it,” he said. “I haven’t been part of an SEC game at home in Jordan-Hare yet. It will definitely be fun.”
Kickoff at Jordan-Hare Stadium is set for 5 p.m. CT on ESPN.