Lutzenkirchen Looking For Tiger Turnaround

Auburn looks to bounce back from a disappointing September to make a run toward bowl eligibility during the October portion of the schedule.

Auburn, Ala.--With his Tigers struggling at 1-3 heading into Saturday's home game vs. Arkansas, senior Philip Lutzenkirchen said it is time for Auburn to get its football season turned around and make a run at postseason play.

"It is huge," the preseason All-SEC tight end said about his team's matchup with 1-4 Arkansas. "We are both sitting in the same spot with one win."

The Tigers have two home games in the month of October. They will also play Texas A&M on the 27th at Jordan-Hare Stadium after making road trips to Ole Miss for an 11:21 a.m. kickoff on Oct. 13th and a trip to Nashville the following week to play Vanderbilt.

Lutzenkirchen has been to a bowl game each season he has been at Auburn and doesn't want to see that streak stopped his senior year. "That is huge for us right now," he said. "That is what we are working for--trying to get bowl eligible.

"We have to pretty much be perfect in this month of October if we want to play in a bowl game," he added. "We have got to get four wins. A win this week would be huge and hopefully jump-start something for us--some momentum for the rest of the season."

Lutzenkirchen is shown in action vs. Clemson in the season opener at the Georgia Dome.

The Tigers were off last Saturday while Arkansas took a 58-10 pounding at Texas A&M. The Razorbacks entered the season ranked No. 8 nationally, but have just a single victory vs. Jacksonville State in the season opener.

Problems on defense have been a major issue for the Razorbacks, particularly the pass defense that is last in the SEC giving up 349.4 yards per contest. Tennessee, which is 13th in the league, is allowing more than 120 fewer yards per game 238 per contest.

Lutzenkirchen said it is important for the Tigers to get their struggling passing attack on track this week.

"Arkansas is a very talented team," he said. "If we can go in there and throw the ball around, that would be a good boost for our confidence. We are not taking them lightly.

There was a reason they were picked to be in national championship contention at the beginning of the year so we know we have got our hands full," he added. "We have got to establish the run and that should open up the passing game for us."

Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier is throwing for just 136.5 yards per game, which is 14th in the SEC. In an effort to make improvements in his performance level, the sophomore spent a lot of off-week time in the video room at the football complex with his position coach and offensive coordinator, Scot Loeffler.

"I think Kiehl took full advantage of having this bye week," Lutzenkirchen said. "Coach Loeffler had Kiehl in there watching film on Chad Henne and different quarterbacks playing for different teams. That gave Kiehl a chance to kind of compare himself and see what kind of footwork he was doing compared to NFL guys like Chad Henne."

Lutzenkirchen, who has 12 catches for 128 yards this season, said that Frazier has improved since he had a crash and burn performance in his first SEC game as a starting quarterback at Mississippi State in week two.

"We need him to keep progressing and play even better, especially against Arkansas," the tight end said. "We will do different things to help him out. I think his head is in a good place. I think his confidence is in a good place going into this game."

Kickoff time for Saturday's game is shortly after 11 a.m. CDT and it will be televised on ESPN2.


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