Backup QB Cox Expected To See Plenty Of Action

Tommy Tuberville says the Auburn coaches plan on using two quarterbacks throughout the 2004 season.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Tommy Tuberville said in his first game week press conference of the 2004 football season that backup quarterback Brandon Cox will play early and often this year.

In fact, the head coach made the statement that the redshirt freshman will see action in all 11 regular season games.

"I think the offense is going to be fun, interesting," Tuberville said. "I'm excited about Jason Campbell and Brandon Cox. You will see both this week…winning, losing or tied, it doesn't make any difference. Brandon will play very early. I want to put him in a situation where he feels like he needs to execute and put some pressure on him because he's one play away from playing. I want Brandon to have playing time in every game we play this year."

Cox, who entered spring practice no higher than fourth team on the depth chart, made a move for playing time with a strong performance in the spring as he quickly adapted to Auburn's new West Coast offensive system.

Lefty Brandon Cox is a redshirt freshman in eligibility.

Tuberville also discussed the kicking situation and announced a starter heading into Saturday's game against Louisiana-Monroe. "We had a major battle for our kicking chores over the last month, even the last six months," he said. "Philip Yost and John Vaughn have worked really hard at trying to win this position. I've told them both that they have a clear shot and we've looked at them both in practices and scrimmages and it was pretty much what we hoped to get--real competition between both of them. Both of them are good friends and they've worked hard on the technique and fundamentals.

"In practice time both were really close, but in game situations in the stadium I thought there was a difference, and John Vaughn won that out and he'll be our kicker this year," Tuberville added. "We're not going to have him looking over his shoulder. We're going to give him a lot of leeway. We want him to feel comfortable as our field goal and extra point kicker. I think that he can get the job done.

"With Philip being a senior, we were hoping that he'd be a little more consistent in game situations. But that's one thing you can really do in practice is, you can evaluate your kickers on consistency by just watching what they do. Philip will have the opportunity to kick long field goals as he did last year if need be because John's range isn't quite what Philip's is. We're looking for consistency, not range. Philip will do our kickoff duties."

Other subjects discussed by Tuberville at Tuesday's press conference include:

"Tre (Smith) and Carnell (Williams) will be our punt returners along with Silas Daniels," the coach said. "Lee Guess has also been working with kick returns and punts. Our kickoff returners will be Carnell and Devin Aromashodu. We're going to look at (freshman) Jerald Watson if he's healthy. If not, we're not going to put him out there just to see what he can do. We want him to be 100 percent. Carlos Rogers could get a shot."

*For the first time since he's been at Auburn, offensive line coach Hugh Nall will have quality depth at the position, Tuberville said. He said the Tigers will rotate lineman more this season than an season in the past.

*Tuberville singled out senior defensive tackle Jay Ratliff as a player who has improved significantly and will be counted on heavily to have his best season.

*Tuberville said he is excited about seeing Auburn's new offense make its debut that will feature two tailbacks in the game together. Al Borges, the new offensive coordinator, has been given the assignment of getting senior stars Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown both heavily involved in the offense.

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