Tigers Attempt To Recover From Tough Loss

Coach Tommy Tuberville talks about Saturday's loss to Ole Miss and quarterback Jason Campbell.

Auburn, Ala.--The hangover around the Auburn football complex was evident on Sunday as quiet hallways and offices were the norm after a heartbreaking 24-20 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday night. With chance after chance to win the game thrown by the wayside, the defeat was harder to take than normal and Coach Tommy Tuberville said that was plain to see when the team met for their normal meeting on Sunday.

"It was more (upbeat) than I have been for the last 15-18 hours," Tuberville said of the meeting. "They sometimes recover faster than us old folks. They understand that they can't dwell on it. I think the coaches have done a good job of explaining the situation that no matter what happened in that game we have to come back. These are our two biggest games of the year and if you keep dwelling on what's happened your not going to be able to bounce back.

"It hurts, especially those guys on the front row, the seniors. They had an opportunity to get four championship rings, at least a tie for it maybe, if we had won yesterday. That's pretty good, one group getting four. It's perplexing how you probably have the best of the four teams and you're out of it with two games to go."

Philip Yost makes one of two field goals in Saturday's game. His miss from 32 yards was Auburn's 10'th miss from inside 40 yards in the last two seasons.

Tuberville praised the play of quarterback Jason Campbell on Sunday after his performance in Saturday's loss. Completing 14-26 passes for 231 yards and one touchdown, the junior had one of his better games as a passer and also ran the ball well when forced to pull it down. His 273 yards of total offense Saturday were the most for him this season and the 231 yards were the second-highest total of his career.

"I haven't seen him play any better this year," Tuberville said. "That's mentally, we're not talking about physically. He threw to the right guy and held the ball in the pocket. He didn't go side to side, but went straight ahead if he had to. That's what he had not been doing. He made three or four runs last night on third downs and that's big."

Campbell and company face a huge hurdle this weekend when they roll into Athens to face the SEC's top defense in Georgia. Despite a rash of injuries on that side of the ball the Bulldogs remain at the top of nearly every defensive category. Tuberville said that's a credit to the talent level on the Georgia team keeping them in games.

"They've got a lot of talent," Tuberville said. "They're deep and have had real good recruiting classes. They've got a lot of defensive linemen. I know they are young in some areas, but they graduated a lot of guys last year. They come back and they don't look any different. They're making plays. They've had some injuries, but they've had a week off and I'm sure they'll be pretty much healthy."

Tuberville said they would keep "stirring the pot" on special teams to find a combination that would work for the Tigers in the last two games. With several breakdowns yesterday in coverage and kicking situations they need to get them shored up quickly before facing two dangerous return teams in Georgia and Alabama. Tuberville did say that Devin Aromashodu looked good back deep on kickoffs and would remain in that capacity this week to give opponents another speed threat to worry about along with Carnell Williams.

The Tigers will practice Sunday afternoon before taking Monday off to rehab some minor injuries suffered against the Rebels. Among those players are fullback Brandon Johnson, who sprained an ankle early in the second quarter, and Reggie Torbor. Kickoff for Saturday's game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and can be seen on CBS.


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