Nick Ruffin Becoming A Valuable Member of the Auburn Football Team's Secondary

Nick Ruffin and the Auburn Tigers are preparing for game five of the 2015 season, a non-conference contest vs. ULM, an opponent from the Sun Belt.

Auburn, Ala.--Junior safety Nick Ruffin said it is important for his Auburn football team to treat every opponent with respect as the Tigers prepare for Saturday’s home game vs. Louisiana-Monroe.

Kickoff for the non-conference matchup is set for 2:30 p.m. CDT at Jordan-Hare Stadium against the Warhawks, a team that took the Tigers to overtime before falling 31-28 in their previous matchup in 2012.

“A lot of people, I think, overlook games,” Ruffin said. “They may not be Top 25, but they are still Division I and they are still a good team.

“We have to continue to prepare,” Ruffin added. “We have to prepare better and find the things we have done wrong and correct those. It’s not about Top 25 rankings, but it’s about our development as players and coaches and as a team as a whole.”

Auburn, which is 2-2, has an all-time record of 6-0 vs. Louisiana-Monroe, which brings a 1-2 record into Saturday’s contest. The Warhawks, who were off last week, dropped a 23-21 game to Georgia Southern in their last outing.

The Tigers are coming off an 18-13 home victory vs. LSU, a team that scored 45 vs. Auburn in 2015.

“For us it was a gauge to see where we are as a defense,” Ruffin said of the victory over LSU, which he noted is a physical opponent with bullish tailback Leonard Fournette leading the offense. “For us to play as well as we did, it gives us confidence that yes, we can play that kind of game,” the junior added. 

Ruffin, who ranks seventh on the defense in total tackles with 15, was in the starting lineup vs. LSU ahead of Stephen Roberts. 

“This game isn’t about me," he said. “It takes 11 guys doing their job. My job is specifically to help this team in whatever way I can. If that is being a starter, great. If not, then any other way I can do it is what I will do.”

Ruffin noted that fellow safety Tray Matthews was excited about the victory over LSU. After struggling in last year’s game vs. the Bayou Bengals while dealing with a shoulder injury that required surgery, Matthews led AU with six solo tackles and three assists last Saturday night.

Asked how happy Matthews was about the victory, Ruffin said, “Overjoyed--it was indescribable. He was jumping around in the locker room hugging everybody, taking pictures of everybody. It was just a good time.”

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