Things didn't get off to the greatest start on Auburn's opening drive as two plays netted minus one yard, setting up a crucial third down play. It didn't look difficult for quarterback Jason Campbell as he hit Courtney Taylor for 20 yards and eventually Carnell Williams punched it in for a touchdown to give the Tigers the early lead.
On the second drive things were much the same as Campbell and the Tigers faced a third and long from the Bulldog 15 yard line. Taking the snap, the senior quarterback hit Ben Obomanu for a touchdown to put Auburn up 14-0 and on its way to an easy win. On the day he completed 13 of 18 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Campbell said the third down conversions early set the tone for the game on offense.
"It's very important when we got those two big first downs early," Campbell said. "Without them they've got the ball and the opportunity to score first. As an offense every time you get the ball you want to beat the defense to the punch. Your goal is to try to take the ball on the first series and score. The game could have been different because they would have gotten momentum."
Fortunately for Campbell and the Tigers, Obomanu was on his game Saturday. On the touchdown pass the ball just deflected off the hands of a Louisiana Tech defender before the junior receiver cradled it for the score. Later he did the same thing on a pass from Brandon Cox. Campbell said all the credit for the two scores goes to Obomanu.
"It was just great concentration by Ben on those two plays," Campbell said. "I was so mad at myself. He caught the touchdown and I congratulated him, but at the same time I was still made because it was a poorly thrown pass. It was just great concentration by Ben."
Something Auburn has done a good job of this season is driving the ball for points. Saturday the Tigers had drives of 11, 10, six and six plays, all leading to points. Campbell said the importance of keeping the ball and making the other team pay is huge for the Tigers this season.
"Anytime you keep the other offense off the field and you continue to drive the ball with your offense that keeps the momentum from the other team," Campbell said. "It keeps our defense off the field and gives them a chance to rest up and get motivated when they come back."
The running game is a major way to control the ball and the clock in games and for Auburn that means the running of Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown. This season Brown has been outstanding, but Williams has struggled at times to do any serious damage because of the attention he receives from opponents. Saturday that was again the case with Williams running for just 56 yards on 12 carries while Brown had 109 yards on 10 carries. Campbell said that he and Williams talked about the game and the offense late in Saturday's win and they determined that the team comes first. Right now the team is doing just fine in their opinion.
"He understands that people are going to key on him," Campbell said. "Me and Lac (Cadillac) were talking at the end of the game, the main thing right now is that we're winning. You can have a whole lot of stats, but stats don't mean a whole lot. If you're winning and doing what you're supposed to be doing to help the team win that goes a long way. I told him as long as he's healthy he'll be all right.
"It's just a great team effort and this is all about team unity. We're doing a great job of being united. We have great senior leadership and the coaches are giving us an opportunity to make plays."