Borges: Tigers Go Back To Basics For Comeback Win

Offensive coordinator Al Borges comments on how the Tigers snapped out of their offensive funk to defeat Alabama.

Tuscaloosa, Ala.--Offensive coordinator Al Borges said his Tigers went back to the basics to snap out of a first half offensive funk on their way to a 21-13 victory over Alabama on Saturday.

Auburn was held scoreless in the first half for the first time this year and trailed 6-0 as the Tide was trying to set the stage for the upset of the year in the SEC.

"What we did in the second half in essence is we went back to what was basically a spring football menu," Borges said. "We reduced our looks. We weren't near as fancy, but we were much more certain about who to block and how to block them.

"Like every team we play, they wanted to stop our run. There is no way, even with great backs, to run into that many folks so you have got to take some shots behind the defense in hopes you complete those passes."

Auburn simplified the offense in the second half and set up man to man coverage with its wide receivers whenever possible and quarterback Jason Campbell's passing led the Tigers to three straight TD drives to take control in the third quarter.

"Jason Campbell played like a champion in the second half," Borges said. "I mean like a champion. He proved his mettle to me although statistically it wasn't his best game. Teams said that we hadn't been tested that much. Well, today we got tested and at the end of the day our quarterback was as big a part as anybody at bringing us back. Not to mention the defense, which kept us in the game. As usual, they played fantastic."

Devin Aromashodu makes a catch to set up Auburn's first touchdown. Borges said the Tigers had to throw deep to loosen up the Tide defense in the second half.

Borges had praise for the Alabama defense, which took a lot of chances with blitzes and nine and even 10-man fronts. "They did a heck of a job," Borges said. "You have got to hand it to them. They blitzed us at some inopportune times for us. They were just outplaying us, pure and simple."

However, that changed in the second half.

"Championships are about when you are down and you are sputtering and the crowd is on the other side," Borges said. "They are about picking yourself up and making a comeback--being able to recover. We talked about that at halftime. I don't know if that was the inspiration we needed. We certainly came out in the second half and played a heck of a lot better."

Auburn improved to 11-0 with the win while Alabama fell to 6-5. Borges said winning was the big issue, even if it wasn't as stylish as usual

"The kids came back," he said. "Was it pretty, no. Was it adequate, yes. It was what we had to do to win the game. I would like for it to have been more aesthetically pleasing, but every game ain't going to be like that. You are going to have to win some games, with the schedule we play and the conference we play in, where we need some help. Our defense was the answer today and our second half offense was the answer."


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