Borges Says LSU Game The Real Deal

Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges talks about the gameday experience for the LSU game and the performance of his offense against a tough defense.

Auburn, Ala.–-Coach Al Borges has seen a lot of football in his time, but Saturday's 10-9 Auburn victory over LSU took the cake as far as he's concerned. With a record crowd on hand despite Hurricane Ivan coming through the state just two days earlier, an electric atmosphere inside Jordan-Hare Stadium helped Auburn defeat the Top-10 Bengal Tigers on a late touchdown pass from Jason Campbell to Courtney Taylor.

"Oh my God, what a deal that was," Borges said. "I still haven't recovered. I've been in Rose Bowls and Cotton Bowls. I've been in some big games, big rivalries but nothing like that. That's just amazing. You could feel the electricity when you walk in the stadium and all it did was just perpetuate. It just kept going. I really had a good feeling that if we could stay in the game our crowd would of brought us through it because their energy never stopped.

"It was amazing. I've just never seen fans like this before. Towards the end when Courtney caught the ball that's the first time I really felt the crowd explode. It was like they wanted to all day but they really exploded and it was a neat experience. This is real football. I'm not putting anybody down but this is the real deal."

Coaches are among the hardest of all people to please and Borges is no different. A perfectionist with his coaching and practices who demands his teams be the same, Borges said that the offense missed too many scoring opportunities against a defense as tough as LSU. Against tough defenses you only have so many chances and Borges said they have to do better in the games to come.

"We should have scored more points," Borges said. "We had some opportunities in the red zone a couple of times and we came away with nothing and that's not good. We were fortunate in that our defense kept us in the game so we had a chance to score at the end and win the game. In another game if we don't take advantage of those opportunities it's going to come back and bite us."

Courtney Taylor comes up with a huge fourth down catch against LSU to keep the winning drive alive.

Despite the lack of production in the scoring department, Borges was happy with the overall play of the offense. He was particularly happy with the play of Campbell. While his game wasn't the best he's played in terms of numbers, his ability to get Auburn in the right play and make big plays when they were needed was the difference in the game.

"We played better than 10 points would indicate," Borges said. "We ran the ball. I think we grossed about 170 yards on a team that doesn't allow you to run the ball very much. Jason Campbell had probably the most gutty effort I can remember. It wasn't a miraculous performance, but he had a couple of miraculous plays and I think down the stretch he really helped us win the game."

A big part of Auburn's offense on Saturday was yards after the catch, an important stat that most good football teams excel at doing. Led by Taylor's big day, the receivers as a group had one of its better days in recent memory as they only had one easy drop and made several big plays.

"I think the receivers took a huge step forward this week," Borges said. "I was really critical a week ago and this week I think it's important to toss them some kudos because they made some clutch catches and made some routine plays when we needed them."

At no time were plays needed more than Auburn's final drive of the game. Getting the ball with 6:37 remaining on its own 41 yard line, Auburn went to work right away with Ronnie Brown breaking off a 20 yard run to get the Tigers in business. On the ninth play of the drive, facing a fourth and 12 at the LSU 28, Campbell fired a pass in the teeth of a heavy rush to Taylor for 14 yards and a first down. Three plays later the same two would hook up again for a touchdown. Borges said it was back and forth all day long facing a defensive mind like Nick Saban.

"Talk about a chess match inside the 20, it was a chess match all the time," Borges said. "You kind of dial in plays based on what they're going to do. They had shown a blitz, a coverage, a blitz, a coverage and you're trying to dial a perfect play for what they wanted to do. A couple of times I didn't and a couple of times I did.

"On the last one I guessed that they were going to goal-line zone us and drop seven guys and make us throw the ball in a crack. So we had a play set up for that and fortunately we executed it pretty good, which makes a heck of a difference."


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