Coach Tommy Tuberville says his Tigers need to control the football and score at almost every opportunity to have a chance to knock off the Gators, who are ranked No. 1 in the AP poll this week. Tuberville says he is counting on his veteran offensive line to lead the way as the Gators come to Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Junior center Ben Nowland
"I thought that was their best game of the season against Mississippi State," Tuberville says. "Our guys really got after them and we were able to move the ball even when Mississippi State put more people on the line of scrimmage than we had blockers."
Offensive line coach Hugh Nall was on the warpath in practice last week after what he considered a subpar performance by his group at Vanderbilt. His wakeup call was obviously answered last Saturday night. "There were probably about six plays in the game that we didn't do exactly what we were supposed to do," Nall says. "Mike (Pucillo) and Ben (Nowland) missed an easy protection and got screwed up on it somehow and gave up a sack. That was the only sack we gave up inside. Other than that, it was probably the best we have played.
"Running-wise it was very exciting," Nall tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "We really came off the ball and got to the right people for the most part. It could have been better than what it was. We are not where we need to be, but since we have been here it is the best our offensive line has played."
Offensive tackle Kendall Simmons
Casinious Moore rushed for a career-high 160 yards as the Tigers edged Mississippi State 16-14 to improve to 3-0 in the SEC. "It was an old-fashioned SEC type of game," says Nall, who was an offensive lineman on a national championship team for Coach Vince Dooley at Georgia. "It was my kind of football. It was great football where you just line up and get after people's ass. You win with a field goal. I was proud of the way we lined up and played. The challenge this week will be 10-fold. We'll see how they rise up this week."
Nall made just one substitution the entire game, alternating Monreko Crittenden and Mark Pera at right tackle.
Senior offensive guard Hart McGarry.
"I thought Kendall Simmons had his best game, by far," Nall says. "I thought Mike Pucillo really played well and Ben Nowland played good, too. I thought Hart (McGarry) has played better and Monreko has definitely played better. Mark Pera had a really good game. For the whole group, I thought it was pretty good."