"Less Talk And More Business"

Tight end Cooper Wallace talks about the psyche of the team as his Tigers prepare to open conference play against Vanderbilt.

Auburn, Ala.--There are few players, if any, that give as much each and every day on the practice field and game days as sophomore tight end Cooper Wallace.

Auburn's starter at a position that has become the forgotten one through two games, Wallace could have a reason to bury his head, but that's not the player or person he is. With just one catch for 30 yards this season, he said that everyone on this team is going to keep fighting to correct the problems facing them following a 0-2 start.

"I wouldn't go as far as to say we were really down on this team," Wallace said. "It's more the attitude of less talk and more business. We're getting away from ‘it's going to happen, it's going to happen' to ‘we've got to make it happen now.' We have to start playing Auburn football and we have to start playing Auburn football on Tuesday and Wednesday."

Expected to be one of the catalysts for an offense that had all the components to be one of the best in the country, Wallace is now the tight end for one of the worst performing units anywhere. Averaging just 197 yards of total offense, six fewer yards than the Tigers averaged rushing in 2002, the Tigers are in need of some desperate measures it would seem. Wallace said that's not the answer, but a players-only meeting held Sunday could be the spark that ignites this team.

"It was good," Wallace said. "This team is searching for a little bit of leadership and it's definitely there. The guys just had to speak up. We've got good leaders on this team. It takes people like me or anybody else for when those leaders call we have to step up and follow them."

Wallace blocks on a punt by another Nashville native, true freshman Kody Bliss. Wallace is on most special teams for the Tigers in addition to playing almost 75 percent of the offensive plays.

Wallace will get his chance to play in front of friends and family when the Tigers travel to Nashville this weekend to face the resurgent Vanderbilt Commodores. Big winners over Chattanooga last week after playing Ole Miss down to the wire in the opener, they won't be a pushover for the Tigers. Wallace said what would normally be a fun weekend for him is now just business.

"It's big game just like any other game," Wallace said, "just like last week. Because it's at home I guess is a little bit of a plus. More people get to come to the game that I know, but that's not a big deal to me right now. I don't care if there are two people in the stands. We need to go out and play Auburn football and do what we can do."

Obviously disgusted with the way this team has played in its first two games, Wallace said that the Tigers are working hard to get things corrected and get that first win under their belts. If the Tigers are going to get things on track and make a run this season, it has to start this weekend.

"I think people are sick and tired of what's been going on," Wallace said. "There's nothing specific that has been going on, it has just hasn't been there. We're tired of that. We owe it to ourselves, the fans and Auburn University now to be as good as we can be and we haven't been so far."


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