Tigers Need to Be Less Stubborn, Tuberville Says

Comments from Tommy Tuberville are featured as he comments on the Auburn football team's running attack.

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Tuberville says he believes the running game would have been better in game two if he and the offensive coaching staff had not been stubborn vs. Mississippi State.

"It goes back to that we didn't run our offense yesterday," he says. "After the first game we got hard-headed saying we have to take the pressure off of 12 (quarterback Brandon Cox), but you see what that gets you into.

"No matter what happens, you have got to run your offense," Tuberville adds. "If they put nine up there (nine defensive players close to the line of scrimmage), you have got to throw the football. You just can't block them all.

"We made some yards, and we probably proved a point with a nine-man front we gained some yardage, but again, when we get to teams down the road that is not going to happen."

After passing 44 times in the opener vs. Georgia Tech and rushing for just 50 net yards, Auburn changed the formula and ran 41 times vs. Mississippi State and netted 118. However, that works out to just 2.9 yards per carry in the 28-0 victory that included one defensive score.

"We were just a little off-balance," Tuberville says. "It wasn't our offense in the second half. We ran our offense in the first half and it went pretty good."

At halftime the Tigers had totaled 206 yards, but netted just 10 in the third quarter and finished with 320 yards to 207 for Mississippi State.

"We wanted to go out and run the ball and work on our running game, but as you get on into the season you have got to run your offense," the head coach says.

Tailback Carl Stewart led the Tigers with 38 yards on nine carries. Starter Tre Smith had just seven yards on five carries and is considered "50-50" for playing this week with a strained knee.

Brad Lester, the fourth string tailback, rushed for 34 yards and a TD on six carries. Tuberville praised the work of the redshirt freshman. Kenny Irons gained 28 yards on 13 runs.

The Tigers will return to action on Saturday vs. 0-2 Ball State at 1:30 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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