Kentucky's Offense Struggles With Auburn's Defense

Comments from Wildcat coaches and players are featured following Kentucky's 42-10 football loss to the Auburn Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Quarterback Andre Woodson and the rest of the Kentucky offense struggled in the Wildcats' 42-10 loss at Auburn Saturday, collecting only 110 total yards on the day.

"They have a very good defense and there were a few times that we were physically abused in our pass blocking," said Kentucky Head Coach Rich Brooks. "We were thrown around."

Woodson, who was making his first career start in place of the injured Shane Boyd, finished the day completing 14 of 26 passes for only 73 yards. He was sacked eight times.

"If we got into passing situations we knew we couldn't match up with them with the players they have at defensive end," said offensive coordinator Ron Hudson. "We had the freshman quarterback who probably got a little shaken with all the pressure on him, and he struggled with it."

On the day, Kentucky only managed 73 passing yards, 37 rushing yards and nine first downs. Only one of the first downs was off a pass play.

"I took a lot of shots," Woodson said. "Their defense is up there in the nation and they showed it today. Their corners sat on everything and it was hard to throw any outs or stops. Their linebackers are real quick to the ball so it's hard to have a real good running game. They've got an excellent defense and we've got to give it to them."

Auburn sophomore defensive end Marquis Gunn pressures Woodson.

The 6-5, 230-pound redshirt freshman from Radcliff, Ky., had played in the Wildcats' previous three games off the bench, found out he would be getting to start against the Tigers the day before the game. He said it was more difficult playing as a starter.

"It definitely makes things different, not being able to stand on the sidelines and see how they're doing their defense and what kind of schemes they're in," Woodson said. "Having to be in there and figuring it out on your own while taking the shots and making the passes (was tough)."

Woodson had struggled with holding onto the football during in his other three games, and Saturday was no different. He fumbled twice against the Tigers, and the second was returned 15 yards for a touchdown by Auburn linebacker Kevis Burnam.

"Andre still has to learn to protect the ball," Brooks said. "I thought he did some decent things, but he also did some things that he has done in the past that continue to be a problem. He's got to understand that when he's moving around in the pocket, he's got to have two hands on the ball.

"After the shaky start he showed a little composure at least," Brooks added. "We put together a pretty good drive for a score. If I'm not mistaken that's the first rushing touchdown Auburn has given up all year. He mixed the run and the pass, and he seemed to settle in and manage a little bit. Then late in the game it looked again like he was a little uncomfortable and more of a redshirt freshman in there."

Kentucky dropped to 1-6 overall, 0-4 in the SEC. The Wildcats return to action Saturday, Oct. 30 at 1:30 p.m. against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, who are coming off a 38-31 win over Florida. Auburn improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in league play and will take on the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Miss., next Saturday. The game is scheduled for a 6:45 p.m. start on ESPN. The Rebels will be coming off an off week.

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