QB Looking to Stay Mellow Vs. the Yellow

Comments from Auburn's Brandon Cox and Al Borges are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--As redshirt sophomore Brandon Cox prepares for his first start as quarterback of the Auburn Tigers, he is very certain of what his major assignment will be.

On Saturday night, Cox and his Tigers will open the season on national television vs. the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Kickoff is 7:45 p.m. CDT with coverage by ESPN.

When asked what his number one priority will be, the left-handed quarterback says, "For me personally, it is not to make mistakes. If I keep us on track, and don't throw interceptions and get us in the right plays we will have a good chance of winning."

If Cox is nervous with this being game week, he isn't showing it. He says he has never been a football player who gets overly emotional about playing a game and doesn't plan to change this week.

"I just kind of mellow out," he says. "There are always those nerves the first play in a game, but once that is done with and after I complete that first pass it is all down hill from there."

Cox played in seven games last year and completed 22-34 passes for 357 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions as the backup to SEC Player of the Year Jason Campbell. He also ran for a score. "That gave me a little experience," he says. "I know what to expect going out there, but it is still going to be new to be going out there (as a starter)."

The left-hander from Hewitt-Trussville High expects to see a very aggressive game plan from the Georgia Tech defense. "They are one of the most active teams we are going to play blitz-wise," he says. "Our game plan is to throw against that. If they blitz we can hurt them and we should be able to score some."

Cox notes he has respect for the Yellow Jackets from what he has seen on video. "Our coaches compared them to Virginia Tech's defense because of their size, speed and style of play," he says of Auburn's last opponent, a team the Tigers had to work hard to defeat in the Sugar Bowl to cap a 13-0 season.

Offensive coordinator Al Borges, who also coaches the quarterbacks, says he believes Cox is ready to play well now after battling a sore arm after the second major scrimmage. The lefty was sharp with his passing in a session that ran more than two hours on Sunday evening.

"Oh, yeah, he's 100 percent and, as a matter of fact, all of our guns are 100 percent on offense," Borges notes. "It will be that way Saturday night unless we get somebody hurt this week."

Projected starting center Steven Ross is back practicing, splitting time with Joe Cope on the first unit. Both players are expected to see action at center, which Cox says doesn't concern him. "The past two weeks we have been switching them in and out," he notes. "It shouldn't be a problem."

Although Cox is a new starter on offense, he will have three returning starters on the line plus all of the key receivers returning from last year's team. He says that is a comforting feeling as he goes into his first college start.

"I can rely on that offensive linemen to protect me and the receivers to get open and make catches." he says.

Saturday night's game will mark the start of the 113th season of Auburn football. The Yellow Jackets were one of Auburn's first opponents as the two teams met in 1892, the first year of football at AU. Overall, Auburn leads the series 47-40-4, but Georgia Tech was a 17-3 winner in 2003 in the last showdown between the two teams.


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