Campbell Feels Good About Offense's Progress

Quarterback Jason Campbell discusses Auburn's win over The Citadel as the Tigers look ahead to a big showdown vs. Tennessee.

Auburn, Ala.–-A sore big toe may have limited quarterback Jason Campbell as a runner in Auburn's easy 33-3 victory over The Citadel, but it didn't prevent him from having a strong performance as a passer and leader of the Auburn offense.

Despite directing a limited offensive package that featured very little variation in terms of formations and plays, Campbell and the Auburn offense wanted to put on a show and they did with 593 total yards. It was the passing game that did the most damage for the Tigers with Campbell throwing for 194 yards and backup Brandon Cox adding another 165.

"Coming into the game we were probably overmatched for them, but at the same time we didn't want to take them lightly," Campbell says. "We respect our opponent and we want to come in and get better as a team.

"I wanted to come out and not stay stationary just because I had a good game last week," Campbell adds. "I want to continue to strive to be the best I can be each week. I felt good throwing the ball."

Not everything went smoothly on offense in the first half even though the Tigers racked up 390 total yards of offense before intermission. Twice drives ended with Carnell Williams fumbling the ball deep in Bulldog territory. What could have been a demoralizing thing to happen in a game that was supposed to be easy was not a major problem with the defense keeping the opponents off the scoreboard.

"You have to recover," Campbell says. "When things like that happen you have to pick up the sticks and move on. To tell how well a team is prepared and the way the continuity is, see how they do after something bad happens. I feel like we did pretty well.

"Our team word is focus and our offensive word is recover," Campbell adds. "As a team we want to focus on one game at a time. Last year we were highly ranked going into the preseason and I don't think we did a good job of focusing. I think from a lot of guys having experienced that last season we understand it takes one game at time. You can't do any more than you can do on that Saturday you're playing."

Ben Obomanu catches a pass from Campbell during Saturday's game. Obomanu had four catches for 53 yards.

Even though the talk all week was about The Citadel, there's little doubt that Auburn was already looking north to Knoxville, Tenn., during the week leading up to Saturday's contest. Campbell says although it was sometimes hard to focus on the task at hand, it was up to the veterans to make sure the job got done against the Bulldogs.

"Everybody knows in the back of our minds the game we have this week, but at the same time we understand that we have to get better," Campbell says. "We're going into a hostile environment and we have to make sure we come out of here feeling good about ourselves and what we accomplished. If we didn't get better then, to us, that's like a defeat. I feel like we did so we can try to move on and take that next step."

The phrase "playing against ourselves" is a common football phrase and that was a theme for the Tigers vs. The Citadel. Defensive coordinator Gene Chizik said prior to Saturday's game that it wasn't Auburn playing The Citadel, but Auburn playing Auburn. Campbell says he agrees with those comments and notes that if you don't play well and do what you're supposed to do to get better then it's a loss no matter what the score is, but he says that he doesn't believe that was the case on Saturday.

"We use that attitude to motivate us," Campbell said. "We know the ability we're capable of playing at. When you play a game like this you already feel like in the back of your mind that you're going to win if you do everything you're supposed to do. If you go out there and do what you're supposed to do and you feel good about yourself then it's a win. You have to look at it in those terms."


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