Getting Physical Pays Dividends

Auburn players and coaches discuss their 43-14 victory at Mississippi State.

Starkville, Miss.--Senior offensive guard Danny Lindsey said the road to victory on Saturday was paved with hard-nosed practices on Monday and Tuesday.

Coach Nall (offensive line coach Hugh Nall) challenged us an offensive line," Lindsey said. "Coach Nall said we played too soft up front vs. Louisiana-Monroe. We went back to work in practice and played much better against Mississippi State. I think we got the job done."

Lindsey and the offensive line opened up holes for the Tigers to rush for 283 net yards. Ronnie Brown gained 147 yards on just 15 runs. Carnell Williams rushed for 122 and two TDs on 19 carries in Auburn's 43-14 victory at Scott Field.

"We love blocking for Ronnie, Carnell and Tre (Tre Smith)," Lindsey said.

Guard Ben Grubbs and tackle Marcus McNeill paved the way for Tiger runners all day.

Lindsey said the offensive front was able to get into a groove because it played together longer than it did in the opener in which Nall substituted early and often. "It does make a difference when you play together as a group and you could tell it by how we played," Lindsey said.

Nall gave the performance a thumbs up, but wasn't completely happy. "The second offensive line didn't do anything the first time we put them in their to make a splash," he said. "They did better later in the game."

Nall said he particularly enjoyed seeing the Tigers win a physical football game and jokingly said AU showed the "Redneck West Coast Offense" on Saturday with its emphasis on smash mouth football.

Senior center Jeremy Ingle was beaming about the OL play. "The cowbells were ringing and they were trying to get after us, but we came out there and got after them real quickly. That is what you have to do at an away game."

Ingle said the offensive line was having fun with the success the Tiger backs had running the football. "It feels great when your backs are running for four or five yards a pop and then you throw in some big ones of 20 or 30 yards. That stuff really gets you excited.

"It's also a lot of fun to get a chance to block for guys like Ronnie and Carnell. The offensive line enjoyed this one."

Offensive tackle Troy Reddick said that people who questioned the Tigers after only winning 31-0 last week missed an important point. "People said, ‘Why did you just score 31 points on Louisiana-Monroe?' The reason is we didn't show anything. We just ran basic plays. We showed a good bit more this game, but there is still more.

"Coach Borges (offensive coordinator Al Borges) is a smart man. He has more for us, including things he hasn't even told us about."

Borges said he enjoyed his first SEC football game. "I was told the intensity would be a lot higher on both sides of the ball and that was right," he said.

The offensive coordinator said he saw some good things, but is not satisfied. "We have got to do a better job of being consistent with what we want to do. That is something we will work on this week."

Head coach Tommy Tuberville agreed, noting that he liked how his team responded to the theme of the week about being physical, but said the Tigers need to be more consistent in week three when they face defending national champion LSU.

Game Notes: Ronnie Brown's 59-yard was the longest of his career. He had his fifth 100-yard rushing game and Carnell Williams broke the 100-yard mark for the 13th time as an Auburn player...Williams now has 2,891 yards, which is fourth in AU rushing history. He passed Brent Fullwood and Stephen Davis.


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