Ole Miss Linebacker to Challenge Slaughter

Jake Slaughter and the Tigers are preparing for a visit from the Ole Miss Rebels.

Auburn, Ala.--Senior fullback Jake Slaughter has won praise from his coaches this year for his blocking skills. This Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Slaughter's skills will be tested when he is called on to block Ole Miss star Patrick Willis.

"They have one of the best linebackers we will probably see this year," Slaughter says. "Patrick Willis looks good and flies around the ball a lot."

Willis a 6-2, 230 junior from Bruceton, Tenn., leads the SEC in tackles with an average of 12.8 per game. He is second nationally in solo stops with 9.43 per contest.

Willis had eight solo tackles, six assists, a half of a sack and two QB pressures last Saturday vs. Kentucky.

Willis had 15 tackles vs. Memphis and Alabama and 14 vs. Tennessee, The Citadel and last week in a 13-7 victory over Kentucky.

"I am going to have to single him out and make a lot of good blocks," Slaughter says.

The Auburn fullback also says the Rebels have a quick defensive front, too. "They really move to the ball," he notes. "We have just got to come out and do the same thing we did last game--run the ball real well and pass the ball as well as we can."

Jake Slaughter is seeing more playing time this year with Ronnie Brown gone to the NFL.

Slaughter says he believes the Auburn running game is getting better. "I think Kenny (Kenny Irons) is one of those backs if you keep giving him the ball he is going to get better and better as the game goes along. The OL and me have been working real hard to get our blocks and we are in a groove right now."

Irons rushed for 218 yards on 33 carries in last week's 20-17 overtime loss to LSU in Baton Rouge. In that game Slaughter got his first chance to run the football. He caught a short pass from quarterback Brandon Cox and gained 19 yards on the play.

LSU led the SEC in rushing defense going into its game vs. Auburn, but struggled to stop the visiting Tigers. "We know we can run the ball against anybody because LSU is the number one run-stopping defense and we got 200-something yards on them."

Slaughter and the Tigers will take on Ole Miss with kickoff set for 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will be televised regionally on Jefferson-Pilot. AU's game the following Saturday at Kentucky will not be televised and is scheduled to kick off at noon Central, which is 1 p.m. local time in Lexington.

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