Josh Holsey (above) is a fifth-year senior.
Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers, who are ranked ninth in the initial College Football Rankings announced on Tuesday night, seem fully focused on Saturday’s SEC football vs. Vanderbilt as Coach Gus Malzahn’s team returned to the practice field on Tuesday evening to prepare for a visit from the Commodores.
Josh Holsey, a player coming off his best game of the season and perhaps his best as an Auburn Tiger, said his team is expecting a challenge from the 4-4 Commodores.
“They are a really good offense,” said Holsey, a fifth-year senior who has made a strong comeback from two ACL surgeries. “They want to beat you up a little bit on the inside and try to wear you down a little bit.
“They have got a really good coaching staff,” the starting cornerback said. “They have got really good players on that side of the ball. It’s going to be another task. We’re going to have to come out and stop the run. Of course, that’s week in and week out.
“It’s going to be one of those hard-nosed games,” he predicted. “This is the kind of football we like–downhill in the trenches.”
That wasn’t the type of game the Tigers played on Saturday at Ole Miss as they defeated the Rebels 40-29 to improve their record to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the SEC.
Holsey contributed to the victory with a 47-yard interception return in the fourth quarter and five pass deflections. The cornerback and the rest of the secondary got a major workout from Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly passing the football early and often.
“He threw the ball 59 times right, that’s just crazy,” Holsey said. “We don’t throw that many times at practice. That’s going to be good because I don’t think we’ll probably face anybody that throws the ball that much, hopefully. If they do it will just be another test. That team there, they threw it around a little bit. That was a test for our secondary and we have to get to the drawing board and try to get better each and every week.”
Josh Holsey has 27 starts for the Tigers dating back to the 2012 season.
Vanderbilt was off last week after defeating Tennessee State 35-17 to even its record with a second consecutive win. The Commodores are 1-3 in the SEC.
Kickoff time for Saturday’s game is shortly after 11 a.m. and the contest will be televised on ESPN.
The last time the teams met was a 17-14 Vanderbilt victory in 2012 at Nashville. Holsey made four tackles that day
“I was on the field when we lost, and it kind of sucks,” he said. “I remember that game. That was a very long trip back, too. We have to make sure I can come away with at least 1-1 with those guys before I leave Auburn.”