Taylor And Tigers Look For More Offensive Punch

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Courtney Taylor is off to a solid start this season although the offense as a whole needs work.

Auburn, Ala.--Courtney Taylor says that scoring 45 points in the last three quarters the offense was on the field in Nashville has given the offense a confidence boost as it heads into the third of four non-conference games on the 2003 schedule.

The Tigers will take on 2002 Division I-AA national champion Western Kentucky at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Taylor and the Tigers are hoping that the struggles on offense from games one and two won't resurface the rest of the season.

"Right now we feel like we can take anybody if we just to out there and practice hard, play hard and let everything else take care of itself on Saturday," Taylor says.

Courtney Taylor couldn't connect with Jason Campbell on this first quarter bomb at Vanderbilt, but the deep ball helped loosen the VU defense.

The redshirt freshman wide receiver leads his team in catches this season with 15 and is second in total receiving yards with 150, 10 behind senior Jeris McIntyre. Taylor will be looking to add significantly to those totals in game four, but says the Tigers will have to play well even though Western Kentucky is not a big-name opponent.

"On the film I have watched they are a pretty good defense," Taylor says. "You can't take anything from them because they are a Division I-AA team or whatever. They are a good football team and we are going to have to come to play. They are the defending national champions and they know how to win."

Auburn is next to last in passing among Southeastern Conference teams with an average of 191.7 yards per game. Only Arkansas, which gains 181.3 per outing, is averaging less among SEC squads. The Auburn offense is ranked 77th nationally in passing and last in the SEC and 103 nationally in total offense at 292.3 yards per game.

Taylor says the Tigers have used the extra week of preparation time to expand the passing attack playbook as well as polish fundamentals. Saturday's game will be the first ever in football matching Auburn and Western Kentucky, which is a replacement for a game originally scheduled with Ball State of the MAC, a team that asked to push back its game with the Tigers until 2004.


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