Big Lead Keeps Tigers Grounded

Auburn took a big lead early and cruised to a blowout victory over Louisiana-Monroe.

Auburn, Ala.--Just looking at the final stats from Saturday's game you would think that the Auburn offensive coaches and players would be thrilled after scoring 73 points and rolling up 481 yards of total offense, but that's not the case.

Up big early, the Tigers were forced to scrap their offensive game plan for much of the day and junior quarterback Jason Campbell said that was something they didn't want to see happen.

"It was our goal to come out and at least try to throw it 40 times," Campbell said. "We wanted to get upfield and give Ole Miss and the teams we're about to face something different to look at. Coach (Hugh Nall) talked about we're going to be more balanced the next few weeks with the teams we have coming up. It got lopsided early and we didn't get a chance to put together many drives with the blocked punts."

Even though the passing game didn't get extensive work, it did show up as Campbell opened the game red hot, hitting his first 10 passes of the day against Louisiana-Monroe. On the first drive of the game he hit Jeris McIntyre on an 11-yard pass the play before Carnell Williams went 72 yards for a touchdown. That set the stage for the next drive as Campbell and McIntyre connected again, this time on a 32-yard touchdown. Campbell said they planned to take that shot early coming into the game and McIntyre made the play.

"We knew it was man-to-man," Campbell said. "I talked to Jeris yesterday about it. We knew we were going to run the play and I was telling him that I was going to throw it up and give him an opportunity. I said, ‘Lf you're a great player you'll make the play because it's going to be man coverage.' That's what he did."

Jeris McIntyre catches a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jason Campbell in the first quarter of Saturday's big win.

After that play it was all but over for the visitors as the Tigers racked up one more touchdown in the first half when Williams scored on a drive keyed by a 46-yard pass to McIntyre over the middle. Offensive coordinator Hugh Nall said the offense was very good to start the day, but didn't finish things the way they needed to heading into a tough game with Ole Miss.

"We did some good things," Nall said. "We wanted to work a little bit on the passing game. They kept blitzing us and didn't give a chance to do some of the things we wanted to. We had to throw some more quick game than we had hoped to. They kept getting after us at the end and we kept running it up the middle. I was pleased with how the kids did that. I was disappointed at how sloppy we were right before the half. That's something we have to address and make sure we don't do any more."

Leading big early and getting some special teams plays to keep them off the field, the Auburn offense lost some momentum even though the score kept climbing higher. In the second half the quarterbacking duties were turned over to redshirt freshman Josh Sullivan and he had a solid day with five completions in seven attempts for 60 yards. Campbell finished the day 11-13 for 180 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

On the ground the numbers weren't quite as good with the exception of Williams. The junior finished with 113 yards on just seven carries with two touchdowns. The trio of Ronnie Brown, Brandon Jacobs and Tre Smith kept the fire burning with 144 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries the rest of the way. Jacobs was the most effective with 61 yards on just 10 carries with two touchdowns. The big junior said this win should do nothing but help this team down the road.

"A lot can come out of this performance," Jacobs said. "It's a win, but it's not a SEC win. We're hungry to get back on the charts in the SEC. We're 4-1 and we have to get that fifth one in our win column. We're going to come out hungry. We've got three of them left and this is three teams in the way of us getting to Atlanta. We're going to take it one at a time and hopefully we'll do what we're supposed to do and get to Atlanta."


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