Smiling Auburn QB Savors Victory Over Vols

Comments from Jason Campbell and Al Borges are feataured after Auburn's 34-10 victory over Tennessee.

Knoxville, Tenn.--Although a lot of the pre-game talk had been about Tennessee's freshman quarterbacks, the star of the QB show Saturday night was the veteran from the visiting Auburn Tigers, fifth-year senior Jason Campbell.

It is doubtful that anybody in the crowd of more than 107,000 at Neyland Stadium enjoyed the first 30 minutes of football any more than Campbell. During that stretch of football when the Tigers built a 31-3 lead, he completed 12-15 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns. But that was just part of the story.

He not only handled the intense crowd noise, he actually quieted the stadium with his play and helped send many of the crowd home early in the fourth quarter.

"That is the most fun I have ever had playing football," Campbell said. "I grew up watching Tennessee play football and I always wanted to have a chance to play in this stadium. To come here and play the way we did, it was great."

Campbell discusses strategy with Al Borges in practice.

Campbell said Auburn's big victory was no surprise. "A lot of times you will play the way you practice, and during the week you could tell this team had its focus on this game. No one was looking ahead. We don't talk trash as a team. We were looking at this game and nothing else.

"This is a mature team with a lot of senior leadership and I think it shows. I think we have the respect of the younger guys and they are playing their hearts out."

Campbell said he is enjoying running the West Coast Offense that Borges installed in spring training. "Coach Borges has given me an opportunity to make plays," Campbell said.

"He gives me the opportunity to use all of my abilities and make our receivers more happy than anything. Right now they feel like they have an opportunity to make plays. I don't think they get all the respect they deserve, either. That is one thing we don't worry about as a whole team. We are just staying composed and staying with each other as we continue to fight our way as a team and continue to move on."

Campbell didn't get a chance to throw much in the second half as the Tigers ran the ball and ran the clock on the way. "Coach Borges told me after the game that he laid off in the second half because the defense was doing so well," the quarterback said.

"He told me there was no reason to go out there in the second half and continue to do what we did in the first half because Tennessee was catching on to some of the things we were doing. He didn't want to put us in a bad situation and give them the opportunity to get some motivation going and the tempo back on our side.

"Our defense was playing great so he went conservative in the second half. He said that is something he had never done and didn't plan on doing, but with our defense playing so good tonight he had to do it."

Tiger Ticket Extra: One of Campbell's best plays was a 38-yard pass to running back Ronnie Brown, his roommate. Campbell joked that he will hear about that catch all week and will be lobbied by his roommate to get more deep passes thrown his way. Remembering that big play, the quarterback said, "We knew they were playing some man coverage. With Ronnie's speed he would have a chance to get down the field and make a big play."


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