Tigers Expect Physical Battle On Rocky Top

Fullback Jake Slaughter is anxious to see how Auburn stacks up with Tennessee on the line of scrimmage.

Auburn, Ala.-–Growing up in Tennessee, fullback Jake Slaughter has been around Tennessee football his entire life. Despite being happy at Auburn and ready to beat the Vols more than anything this Saturday, the junior said that this game is going to be a special one for him.

"This is really exciting," Slaughter says. "I have visited the stadium and it's an amazing stadium, an amazing atmosphere. I'm real excited to go play there. I've got a lot of family coming. It's going to be an awesome game."

Known as being a physical player, Slaughter has played both linebacker and fullback since he's been at Auburn, but has settled into the role of fullback for the Tigers this fall. Playing the position along with running back Ronnie Brown, who also sees time at tailback, Slaughter says the offense is getting better every day and he believes they're ready to have a big performance this Saturday night.

"I think we've been practicing hard for games and preparing really well," Slaughter notes. "It's showing on the field. Everybody is executing really well. Things are going good. I like it. We just have a lot of confidence in what the offense is doing right now. We're executing it. We know we can do it, we have the talent to do it and we're getting it done."

Much of the confidence in Auburn's offense comes from the man in charge. First-year coordinator Al Borges has installed a fun offense that utilizes the Tigers' strengths and gets the best players on the field more often. A key in Auburn's running game when in the I formation, Slaughter says that Borges just makes everyone believe in each other and the offense, which leads to success.

"He has a lot of confidence about him," Slaughter says. "He's real good about if we do a play wrong in practice, we do it over right away. He's really precise in that area. He's just got an air of confidence about him. He knows what he's doing. We just have to make sure we know what we're doing."

Auburn's challenge this weekend against the Vols is establishing the running game to open up the pass for quarterback Jason Campbell. Tennessee's secondary has been had some issues this season, giving up 241 yards per game through the air. Slaughter says that despite Tennessee's trouble with the pass, this game is going to be all about the line of scrimmage.

"They're really, really athletic and really fast," he says. "We're going to have to be real physical with them and blow them off the ball. That's what we're going to try to do.

"It's one of those games where you have to line up and beat the man in front of you," Slaughter adds. "That's what coach has been telling us. You have to be physical because it's going to be a rough game. I think we're up to the challenge. We're going to go up there and prove it."

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