Tuberville Wants Improvement To Continue

Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville comments on the football Tigers after studying video of his team's rout of Western Kentucky.

Auburn, Ala.--There wasn't much to criticize for the Auburn coaching staff in video reviews of Saturday's 48-3 victory over Western Kentucky. Dominant on offense, defense and special teams, the Tigers controlled the game from the early moments and never looked back on the way to the win.

Offensively much of the success had to do with the play of quarterback Jason Campbell. Named Auburn's offensive player of the week by the coaches for his performance, Campbell set a school record with a 12-13 day passing for 173 yards and one touchdown. Karlos Dansby won was the defensive MVP and Philip Yost won the special teams award with a school record-tying 57-yard field goal. Yost also put five of seven kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.

Dansby was critical of his own performance because he got his hand on two potential interceptions and couldn't hold on either time. Tuberville says those are the kind of plays that the senior linebacker will make when games are on the line. "Karlos seems to show up in games like we have coming up," Tuberville said. "We'll play about how Karlos plays. He kind of ignites the flame a little bit as we go through. He is one of our big leaders and has done a good job. Disappointed that he missed those, but he'll make more than he misses."

Karlos Dansby leads the Auburn defense in Saturday's victory.

If it was Dansby setting the tone on defense, the play of Campbell did the same on offense. Precise in his throws and progressions, the junior only had one incompletion on the day on a pass dropped by receiver Courtney Taylor. Tuberville said he has seen a lot of improvement in his quarterback in the last few weeks.

"Jason has gotten better and he‚s gotten more confident in the pocket," Tuberville said. "The receivers are starting to catch the ball better, but we have still got to get the ball down the field a little more. We did it once yesterday and would have like to have done it more, but when things got out of hand we didn't want to throw it deep."

Sometimes it is hard to get anything out of a game like Saturday's rout when there is was little doubt about the final outcome after the first quarter. However, that is not the case for Auburn as the coaching staff took full advantage of the game and the second half of the Vanderbilt game to get a long look at young players who will be counted on during a nine-week stretch without an off week to close the season.

"We played a lot of young guys on special teams and were getting a lot of effort," Tuberville said. "It would be hard to call them all out, but it was good just to see that many guys play. Obviously, they made a lot of mistakes, but I think because of the Vanderbilt game when a lot of guys played in the second half and a lot of guys playing three-quarters in this last game is going to give us some depth down the road."

That depth is especially important in the secondary where the Tigers have played more players this year than any in the Tuberville era. Possible lineups abound in the back four with Junior Rosegreen's situation at the center of them all. Playing safety against WKU and making the transition smooth for the defense, Rosegreen will likely see time at both against Tennessee said Tuberville.

"Our defensive backs have gotten better and we've been looking for the right combination," Tuberville said. "I don‚t know whether we‚ll stick with Kevin Hobbs starting as corner. Obviously him playing yesterday and having the only two interceptions we have, he's making plays. He's still pretty inexperienced, but Junior Rosegreen playing at safety on Saturday against a running team was really beneficial to not just him, but the other safeties."

Cole Bennett had three catches for 41 yards against WKU. In all Auburn's tight ends had five catches in Saturday's game. Tuberville said Sunday that the tight ends will continue to be a bigger part of the offense as the season progresses.

Offensively, the running back position continues to be the talk as junior Brandon Jacobs became Auburn's first 100-yard rusher of the season with 103 yards on 10 carries Saturday. In all the Tigers ground out 285 yards on just 42 carries and scored five rushing touchdowns. While Jacobs has been impressive the last two games and continues to improve in all areas of the game, Tuberville said the plan will continue to be centered around Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams to start the game.

"He's going to be a spot player," Tuberville said of Jacobs. "Ronnie and Carnell are our two starters, but he's a pretty good alternative especially when they're getting tired on the other side."


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