Victory Good For Morale, Tuberville Says

Tommy Tuberville comments on why he is pleased with his football team's homecoming victory.

Auburn, Ala.--Although the Tigers weren't as crisp offensively as week earlier and saw their 13-quarter streak of touchdown-free football end on defense, Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville was upbeat following his team's 37-14 victory over Western Kentucky.

Tuberville said he thinks that playing the reserves most of the game, starting in the first quarter, was the right thing to do as his team improved its record to 3-1.

"We played almost everybody in the first half, not just the second half," he said. "It was a good performance out of everybody. We wanted to keep as many starters out the second half as we could just to try to get them healthy, 100 percent for next week because it is SEC time.

Walk-on cornerback Zach Gilbert returns an interception late in the victory over WKU.

"It was a good performance," Tuberville said. "We gave up some plays on defense, but we had some guys playing in the secondary that played on scout team this week and they didn't even get a chance to see the other team's plays that were running against them. It was good to get everybody out there.

"We are not a stat team," Tuberville added. "We are team that tries to play everybody and tries to keep team morale up. There is a lot of enthusiasm in the locker room now. All of those guys got to play. It will go a long ways down the strech."

After two weeks of non-conference opponents, the Tigers return to SEC competition with a 6 p.m. home contest vs. South Carolina for game five. Auburn is 1-0 in the league as the Tigers try to defend their conference title.

"As we just told the team, it is time," Tuberville said. "It is time to get going. We have seven conference games in a row. It is going to be very tough. We understand what we are getting into. We have a big target on us. We are looking forward to it."

The coach said that starting QB Brandon Cox, who missed the WKU game with a virus, will be back vs. South Carolina. "His fever is down and he should be ready to go in a day or two.

"I am real proud of Blake Field of coming out and being a starter on an hour's notice," Tuberville added. "It is an amazing feat. He came out and did a good job of handling the football. Our offensive coaches did a good job of cutting back the offense. We put the offense in him for him anyway. He did a good job of running what we do for him."

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