Loeffler Standing By His Man

Comments from Scot Loeffler are featured plus news and notes from Starkville following Auburn's SEC football opener.

Starkville, Miss.--The Auburn offense struggled for a second week in a row as the Tigers fell to Mississippi State on Saturday, 28-10. Only recording 216 total yards, the Tigers were unable to consistently move the ball for most of the game and did not score an offensive touchdown.

Scot Loeffler, the coach in charge of the offense and quarterback play, said the Tigers regressed from week one to week two.

"I thought we made some strides in week one and we took some steps back today," he said. "Our mishaps from today weren't from one area. It was protection, quarterback issues and route-running issues. We can't just put one finger on what the problem is."

Quarterback Kiehl Frazier played a large role in the offensive struggle, finishing the day completing 13-22 passes for 125 yards with three interceptions. The sophomore also fumbled the ball twice and lost both.

Echoing comments from head coach Gene Chizik, Loeffler said there was no consideration of taking Frazier out of the game and the coordinator added he believes in the first-starter "100 percent."

"It's obviously a rough day for us," he noted. "Whenever you're young like that you have to learn from your mistakes. I have to coach better and we've got to improve."

Auburn's struggles in the red zone continued as the Tigers were only able to get a field goal in two trips inside the MSU 20. The first trip ended in a field goal after a Bulldog fumble on the MSU 31. The other ended on Frazier's final interception of the day, coming on the 14.

"Last week it was the same issue and we're getting down there and not scoring touchdowns," Loeffler noted. "It's really, really disappointing. Some of that has to get fixed."

Loeffler said he was happy with the way running back Mike Blakely performed, despite the entire team netting 91 yards on the ground. After only rushing the ball once against Clemson, the sophomore recorded a team-leading 42 yards on 11 carries.

"We were going to run Blakely a few more times," Loeffler noted. "He got into a groove kind of like what happened last week. Blakely was actually scheduled to run the ball a little bit last week and Tre got into a groove. You're going to see a lot of Tre Mason."

In other notes and news:

*Following Saturday's defeat vs. Mississippi State, Auburn leads the series 60-24-2 with a 12-5-1 record in Starkville.

*The 28-10 final is the Bulldogs' first victory over Auburn since 2007.

*Center Reese Dismukes made his first start of the 2012 season. The sophomore was suspended for the opener vs. Clemson.

*After not playing in the season opener at safety, Demetruce McNeil started and finished the contest with a game-high 18 stops. He started a dozen games last season.

*Mississippi State started its first drive of the game with four first downs, moving the ball 55 yards before having a third down.

*Auburn had two first downs in the first quarter, one which resulted from a penalty on the Bulldogs.

*Jonathon Mincy's forced fumble and Jermaine Whitehead's recovery in the first quarter were firsts for each of their college careers.

*Cody Parkey's first half field goal put the junior 5-5 on the year and marked his seventh consecutive make dating back to 2011.


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