Ronnie Brown Off To Strong Start

Senior running back Ronnie Brown discusses his role in Coach Al Borges' offense.

Auburn, Ala.–-When Coach Al Borges took the job of offensive coordinator at Auburn he vowed that his first mission was to get maximum production out of both Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown.

Through three games the plan seems to be coming along nicely as both are in the top four in the SEC in rushing and the Tigers are 3-0 after beating LSU at home last Saturday.

Averaging 89.7 yards per game and leading the league in yards per carry at an astounding 8.7, Brown has been used mostly as a complement to Williams and a lead blocker through three games as Cadillac has carried the ball 29 more times. Running backs Coach Eddie Gran says that so far the plan is working well, but Brown will be more involved as defenses continue to change and give the Tigers different looks.

"I think as you look at it you're going to have different games," Gran says. "I think the Mississippi State game was perfect. I think that worked out perfectly. I think you'll get some games where Ronnie rushes the ball 18 carries and Carnell for 10. I really believe that is going to happen. It all has to do with formations and what we're doing. I think as we go along here all that is going to pan out just fine."

When both turned down the NFL earlier this year for a chance to return to Auburn, they said their goals were to win first and individual honors come second. That trend has continued this fall as both Brown and Williams have caught passes, blocked and done the little things to make the offense successful.

Brown says that playing in an offense like the one Borges has installed is only going to make them better players down the road.

"It gives us as running backs to go out and catch passes and also have a chance to show that we can block and be an every down back, " Brown said. "I think we've got a lot of positive things in store for our offense. We made some mental mistakes on Saturday. We've got to work those kinks out and eliminate the mistakes. We just have to take it one play at a time and we'll be a pretty good offense."

While the offense didn't set the world on fire, its performance against LSU was enough to get the victory. After driving two times into the red zone and coming up with just three points, Auburn finally got the job done when it mattered most. When Jason Campbell hit Courtney Taylor for a 16-yard touchdown on third and 12 with just 1:14 left to give Auburn the win, Brown said that the feelings were almost too much to handle.

"It felt real good," Brown says. "That was one of our goals coming into the season. We're trying to take them one at a time, but that's one of the games we've been thinking about with it being an SEC game. I think everybody made it a point to give everything they have for the person beside them. At the end of the game everything turned out positive for us.

"Jason has a lot of character and it showed on Saturday. Some of the things he did and some of the plays he made were huge like the fourth and 12 at the end of the game. He had to sit in the pocket and take some licks to complete the pass and that just showed how Jason has matured over the last couple of years."

Ninth-ranked Auburn returns to action this weekend when it is the host to The Citadel for a game in which most of the Tigers reserves are expected to see a great deal of action. While Brown knows that should be the case, he says that this team isn't looking forward to a match-up with Tennessee just yet.

"Right now we know that we can only play them one game at a time," Brown says. "The Citadel is coming in this weekend so that's our next step. We just have to focus on what we have to do and eliminate some of the little mistakes we made and the foolish penalties. Hopefully we'll get better and carry that over week to week."

With two proven backs to choose from in the running game, Borges can't go wrong as long as the Tigers keep winning. Although that is the ultimate goal for Brown and his team, he said that he's still ready for the day when his number is called again and again to run the ball.

"I'm excited about that," Brown says. "Right now I'm just trying to do anything I can to help this team win, whether that's splitting out wide or lining up at fullback or playing tailback now and then. It's exciting to get a chance to do some different things in the offense."


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