Coach Analyazes Offense, Defense and Kicking

Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville comments on how his team is progressing in all phases of the game.

Auburn, Ala.--With the non-conference portion of the schedule completed as the Tigers lost to Georgia Tech and took easy wins vs. Ball State and Western Kentucky following a shutout of conference foe Mississippi State, how good is the 2005 Auburn football team?

Coach Tommy Tuberville had almost nothing but encouraging words for his team following Saturday's 37-14 victory over Western Kentucky, which wasn't an artistic beauty, especially in the second half after the Tigers took a 24-0 halftime lead.

"I think we have a good football team," Tuberville said. "I would have loved to see Brandon (QB Brandon Cox) played a little bit more today, the first quarter or so, to get him some throws. I thought to this point he has played well."

Cox, who had a 103 degree fever in pre-game, was held out of action as Blake Field went the distance at quarterback except for late mop-up duty by Calvin Booker.

Tailback Kenny Irons solidified his first team status with 111 yards rushing with 108 coming in the first half.

Commenting on the offense, Tuberville said, "Our offensive line is strong, our tight ends are in good shape, Courtney Taylor will be back next week and we'll be full go on the wide receivers

"On the running back situation, there is no doubt who are our starting running backs," said Tuberville, who has Kenny Irons and Brad Lester as his top two tailbacks. "We don't have those question marks on offense. We know who the starters are and who the backups are. We are going to go from there."

Commenting on the defense, which gave up two fourth quarter TDs, Tuberville said, "We are still struggling in some areas just from inexperience. We got some good experience the last few weeks. We will put a game plan in this week and challenge our players to get better and concentrate a little bit more on situations, but overall I thought the defense played well."

John Vaughn was 3-3 on field goals, the Tigers were improved with Zach Kutch and Matt Clark kicking off and the punting game was solid as backup Patrick Martyn got his first action of the season behind Kody Bliss.

"The kicking game is much improved," Tuberville said. "We have got a real good kicking game. It was good to get some field goals today. We like to score touchdowns, but it was good to kick a couple of field goals and have the opportunity to see what John Vaughn can do and kind of get into a groove.

"I think it is all coming together at the right time, but again we will have to wait until next week to see what happens," Tuberville added.

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