Borges Dips Into His Bag Of Tricks

Comments from Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges are featured after his team's victory over Ole Miss.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn got off to a lackluster start against Ole Miss with a scoreless first quarter, but offensive coordinator Al Borges' offense reversed its fortune with a trick play for its first points on the way to a 27-3 victory.

The offense went three and out on the first series and stalled on the second possession after marching 82 yards on 16 plays to the Ole Miss three-yard line. That is when Borges pulled out all stops and went deep into the playbook for Auburn's first touchdown of the game.

Wide receiver Courtney Taylor found receiver Devin Aromashodu open in the end zone on a 28-yard scoring strike to put the Tigers up 7-0.

"We have been running the reverse in other games and we felt like we had set it up pretty good just on the tapes that they had watched," Borges said. "Right away when he got the ball that guy didn't bite real hard. It kind of happened last week on the halfback pass.

"Courtney was patient. He waited for the guy to come up. Then when he came up (Devin Aromashodu) was wide open. It is just a play off a play like so many things we do. It looks fancy and all of that, but it really does have a rhyme and reason for why we do it."

For Taylor, who has been bothered with a high ankle sprain for much of the season, his first touchdown of the season surprisingly came as a pass.

"He can throw," Borges said of the junior wideout. "He was a quarterback in high school. We had that play in last year, but I never had enough guts to call it. We had the ball on the right hash mark there and we were waiting to get into position to do it.

"After running the reverses that we had been running the last three weeks it was just logical. You have got to have something off of it so they wouldn't know what play. It helped us on the reverse later because we ran a couple of reverses that hit good."

Brandon Cox won praise for his play from Borges.

Borges used a handful of fake reverses two weeks ago against Arkansas to open up running lanes for tailback Kenny Irons to pile up 182 yards against the Razorbacks. This week with the Rebels loading the box and keying on Irons, the Tigers ran two reverses to Ben Obomanu. While Obomanu's 43 yards on those carries help moved the football down field, it also opened things for Irons to squeak out another 100-yard performance.

"101," Borges said of Irons. "Yeah. There are going to be days like this. You're going to have your 200-yard games and then you're going to turn around and really hunker down to get 100. It was one of those days. They were tough and they did a good job on us. They did a nice job. You have got to hand it to them. They're no slouch defensively."

Ole Miss, with one of the better defensive lines in the league, also brought a lot pressure to Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox. The Auburn QB was sacked four times and also fumbled twice, losing one. For the game Cox completed 17 of 27 passes for 205 yards with a touchdown.

"This might have been Brandon's greatest test," Borges said. "Because of the sacks and because of the hits he was really tested. After being hit like that I thought he bailed us out of a bunch of crucial third down situations. I thought he played pretty good for the most part.

"He had that one turnover which was close," he added. "That call could have gone either way whether it was a pass or a fumble. He didn't throw an interception again so I thought his play was pretty solid."

Auburn's offense rushed for 123 yards on the day and passed for 239 while gaining 24 first downs. The Tigers also had good success on third down conversions, making eight of 17. However, for the second consecutive week they stalled inside the red zone, converting on three of five chances.

"We just sputtered out inside the five a couple of times," Borges noted. "It was just a missed block here, something here, something there. One time 13 (Ole Miss safety Jamarca Sanford) ran through and we thought the play was blocked perfect. We're going to see the tape and it will be somebody different every single time. We will get it shored up though."

With the win, Auburn improved to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the SEC. Ole Miss dropped to 3-5 and 1-4 in the league. Despite the Rebels' lackluster record, Borges says that he still came away impressed with the physical style and toughness of the Ole Miss defense.

"I thought they just did a great job of being physical and getting after us," he said. "They made us play hard. They have got some seniors up there that have played a lot and are good football players, and they tested us some.

"They got more pressure on us than I think anyone has all year," Borges added. "My hat's off to them. You have got to give some credit to them. They don't have a bunch of rookies in there."

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