Receiver Coming Into His Own For Tigers

Wide receiver Devin Aromashodu and Coach Tommy Tuberville talk about Saturday's game with Ole Miss and Wednesday's practice.

Auburn, Ala.-–Putting in a new offense is a never ending process for a football team and the 2004 Auburn Tigers are no different. Learning on the run with Coach Al Borges, the Tigers have introduced something new each game on offense and junior wide receiver Devin Aromashodu said that this week will probably be no different.

"We always have new stuff every week out of him, but I feel like we're becoming more of a complete offense," Aromashodu said. "I feel that we're doing good with the plays that he's giving us to work with each week."

One of the most improved areas on Auburn's team this season has been the play of the wide receivers. With quarterback Jason Campbell's pinpoint passing, Aromashodu, Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu, Anthony Mix and others have benefitted in Borges' system to become playmakers for the Tigers. "We just knew we had to come out this year and play better as a group," Aromashodu said. Auburn has improved and is currently averaging just over 230 yards passing per game.

Devin Aromashodu

Aromashodu's improvement has been as big as any individual player for the Tigers this season. After catching just three passes for 22 yards last season, the Miami native is currently leading Auburn in receiving yards with 362 and has 16 catches and two touchdowns. He said that he's just feeling more confident as the season goes along.

"I feel it's coming back to me," Aromashodu said. "I'm just going out to try to improve each week and catch every ball that's thrown my way."

Relished to what amounted to mop up duty last season because of inconsistent hands catching the ball, Aromashodu worked hard in the spring and summer to improve his hands and route running. The Tigers also instituted a game this fall that rewards players for catching the ball in practice and it has become a favorite discussion topic everyday after practice among the receivers.

"It's good because it gives us a challenge every day in practice and it also makes things fun," Aromashodu said. "It's always good to have something like that to keep you motivated."

Aromashodu and the Tigers continued preparations for the Ole Miss Rebels on Wednesday with a practice that lasted two hours. He said that this week is a very important one for Auburn as it tries to put the finishing touches on a Western Division championship and at the same time get some revenge for last season's tough loss to the Rebels in Auburn.

"There's a lot at stake because Ole Miss beat us last year," Aromashodu said. "It's a big game. We have a chance to win the West. It's a very big game for us."

Working on all phases of the game as they get ready for Saturday's 6:45 kickoff on ESPN, the Tigers spent much of Wednesday in offensive and defensive units against the scout teams. Coach Tommy Tuberville said the day was a good one for his team and he feels like they'll be ready to play this weekend.

"We're playing good and playing with a lot of confidence," Tuberville said. "The guys are practicing hard. I haven't seen any letdown whatsoever. They know the significance of this game and are looking forward to Halloween Night (Saturday night)."

With starting center Jeremy Ingle relegated to emergency duty only in Saturday's game, Tuberville said he would make the trip and play only if needed, junior Steven Ross will get his second career start at center for the Tigers. A solid player who struggled some in last week's win over Kentucky, Tuberville said Ross has looked good in practice this week and he expects no letdown at the position.

"We've had no problems with anything," Tuberville said. "He's done good. It's just one of those things where he got threw into the fire (Kentucky) and mentally wasn't ready. Danny (Danny Lindsey) is working with the second team. Danny's had to do extra duty and Joe Cope will be our third center and he's taken some snaps. We're fine. We're in good shape."

Playing for the ninth consecutive week without an off date, Auburn looks to be in good shape physically. Much of the reason for that is that the Tigers have taken care of business on the field. That has allowed the coaching staff to substitute liberally and keep players fresh for the step run. Tuberville said building depth has been a big key for the team this season and should help in Saturday's game, the last before Auburn's off week.

"You've got to have depth," Tuberville said. "It is so important. We've tried and tried in these eight games, and have done a pretty good job, of practicing at the right pace and playing different players in games. Our defensive players, probably in the eight games, normally would have played 80 percent of the time. This time they've probably played 60 or 65 percent. Some because of high scores and some because we're just playing more players.

"We even look fresher out there. If you're down in numbers and your starters are playing a considerable amount of time, this time of year you've got more than just mental problems. You've got dead legs, and we're tired, but everybody is tired. Even if you have an open date you're still going to practice. You're not going to take the entire week off. We're going to look next week at what we do going into the last two regular season games."


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