Tighten Up Time, Tight End Says

Auburn, Ala.--With a touchdown early and a touchdown late at Syracuse, but nothing to show for the evening in between, the Auburn offense is embarrassed.

The only thing that is going to change that condition is a strong performance at Vanderbilt on Saturday night when the 2-1 Tigers look to improve their record to 2-0 in SEC play against a Vandy team that is 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the league.

"We moved the ball pretty well last game and had our chances, but mistakes and turnovers really killed us," Diamond says. "Penalties, dumb and stupid penalties, really killed us--jumping offsides, delay of game. That crowd had a big part to do with that. We are just going to have to become a lot more focused and not create so many penalties in order to get a victory."

Junior tight end Lorenzo Diamond

After failing miserably in a 31-14 nationally televised loss at Syracuse that featured five AU turnovers and 10 penalties, the Tigers are going to try to emulate the style of play they saw from the Orangemen in the Carrier Dome, Diamond says. "They came out and were ready to play. They had their crowd behind them. We had a big challenge ahead of us at the start of the game. We just didn't step up to that challenge. We made too mistakes. That is what really really killed us."

The junior tight end says that this week's practice has featured plenty of work on eliminating turnovers and other miscues. "We just need more concentration," he says. "The mistakes that we made were correctable. The dropping and fumbling the ball, that is correctable. We can correct that in one day. There is really nothing that we haven't been doing in practice. We should just continue to do what we have been doing."

Diamond says that the Tigers did not expect to come home from New York with a loss on their record. "We were ready to go Thursday," he says. "We actually thought we had a good chance when we got there, got on the field, got a little stretched out, scored the first touchdown. We thought we had a good chance to win, but those turnovers killed us."

Like several of his teammates, Diamond will probably not be 100 percent for the road trip to Syracuse. He will play with a toe sprain, however, with the possible exception of center Ben Nowland, all of the starters should be ready for action vs. Vandy. Auburn is going for its 10th straight victory in its all-time series vs. the Commodores. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Vanderbilt Stadium and there are approximately 4,500 tickets still available. The game is available on a pay-per-view basis with Andy Burcham and Rod Bramblett of the The Auburn Network calling the action. (Call in-state cable systems or 1-800-TV-Stars for satellite dish owners.)

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