Focused Dyer Off To Hot Start

Auburn sophomore Michael Dyer talks about the Tigers' offense and his game.

Auburn, Ala.—Despite the early struggles in the running game for the Auburn Tigers in the season opener, things picked up dramatically in a win over Mississippi State Saturday. Behind the powerful running of sophomore Michael Dyer the Tigers ran for 235 yards and averaged a whopping 6.5 yards per carry as a team.

Dyer had one of his best career games against the Bulldogs with 150 yards and two touchdowns on just 18 attempts. For the year the Little Rock native has 207 yards and four touchdowns, just one off his scoring total from last season's 14-game schedule.

If you've noticed a chance in Dyer's play then you're not imagining things. Another year removed from high school and firmly entrenched in Auburn's conditioning program, Dyer said he feels like's added some things to his game this fall.

"I definitely tried to improve my speed and running downhill," Dyer said. "I'm just trying to add more stuff to my game. I just want to help out my team however I can this year."

On Saturday two plays showed just how much Dyer has added to his repertoire. On Auburn's first possession Dyer turned the corner and outran the Mississippi State defense for a 35-yard touchdown. Later, backed up to the seven-yard line, Dyer raced 52 yards on the first play from scrimmage to get the Tigers out of a huge hole. He said his game has gotten better, but much of the credit should go to the guys up front.

"We just came out there and fought through that one," Dyer said. "We just came out and fought today. The offensive line did a great job of giving us some holes so we could read the keys. We had great cracks out there on the blocks. They played a great game.

"We had a great game running the ball and the offense made that happen," he added. "The line just did a tremendous job. The defense stepped up in ways you can't even imagine right now."

Even with all of his work on the field Dyer was forced to sit and watch late in the game as the Auburn defense tried valiantly to hold on to the lead against MSU. He said while it's tough you just have to trust that your teammates are going to get the job done, and that's exactly what happened.

"It was hard because you want to be out there," Dyer said. "You want to be in control of it. Our defense just stepped up. They kept fighting and fighting and making tackles, doing everything they could. They just fought for Auburn."

A touchdown underdog on its home field, Auburn will likely again be the underdog this weekend when the Tigers travel to Clemson to face the 2-0 Tigers. Ranked 21st in the AP poll after being dropped out a week ago, Dyer said the owners of the nation's longest winning streak at 17 games will just keep fighting to prove people wrong time and time again in 2011.

"A lot of people did and that's fine," Dyer said about the doubters. "That's just how it goes. We'll play Auburn football every Saturday. It's motivation. Our team thinks about it every day and every night how people don't count us in this year. That's fine. We'll take that and run with it and fight for Auburn."

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