Borges Looking For Improvement On Offense

Offensive coordinator Al Borges talks about the victory over Ole Miss and the mistakes made by the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.–-With running backs Brad Lester and Carl Stewart both likely out for the Kentucky game this weekend, Stewart with a sprained MCL suffered against Ole Miss, Coach Al Borges said that on Sunday the Tigers moved Tristan Davis back to tailback to bolster the depth of the unit.

"Tristan has moved back and played some tailback," Borges says. "We got a little work out of Brad today and we'll see how that progresses. I don't know how that is going to work. We'll see how that works, how Brad progresses physically and how Tristan progresses mentally.

"Thank goodness that we did something with him early in two-a-days," he adds of Davis. "He has a clue on the position. You're not starting all over with him. He's a real bright kid so anything we do I think he can pick up in a reasonable amount of time as long as we don't overload him. That will help. Losing Carl is hard."

Tristan Davis has two carries for 49 yards this season.

That was the biggest news of the day as Auburn had a very short practice to begin work on the Wildcats. Before they put the gameplan in though the Tigers always correct the problems that arise in the previous games. For Borges he says those were more numerous than normal this week from a so-so performance in a 27-3 win over Ole Miss.

"Their front was as formidable as anyone we've played against all year," Borges says of the Rebel defensive line. "We didn't run the ball like we had hoped we would run the ball. I thought we moved the ball pretty good and our third down conversions really kept the ball moving. I thought Brandon (Brandon Cox) did a good job of playing catch on third down and keeping some drives going.

"We're going to go back and work on a few more fundamental things with our running game and get us back on track, but you kind of have to give them a little credit too. I thought they a nice job of mixing it up in there and doing some stuff to raise some problems."

Against Ole Miss Cox was pressured as much as he's been since the Georgia Tech game to start the season. Putting eight men in the box and stunting on just about every snap, the Rebels gave Borges' offense some problems in pass protection. Problems he says that weren't all about the offensive line.

"One time they threw a little different front at us from a 30 look (three-man line) that they had not shown before," Borges says. "I think it confused us a little bit and we ended up with a back blocking on a defensive end. That was another one. A couple of times we held the ball a little bit.

"So often when the quarterback is sacked instantly everyone runs and says the offensive line made some kind of an error, but a couple of times we held the ball too long. We should be releasing it even if it means an incomplete pass. It's something different every time, but it's all things we think we can fix. That's the most important thing."

This season the Tigers haven't used as much of the two-tailback sets as they did last season when Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown roamed the field for the offense. Because the strength of this unit is with receivers and tight ends, Borges says the obvious answer has been to get them more involved in the running game as well as the passing game and that has worked well to this point.

"You have to adjust year-in and year-out to your talent," Borges says. "We just feel like guys like Anthony Mix, who has been very productive this year, and even Cole Bennett has done a wonderful job not only as a blocker but as a receiver too. We're kind of mixing that role a little more than we used to. If we ever get to the point where we think the tailback can give us that kind of productivity then we'll use the tailbacks more and more."

Auburn will take Monday off before returning to the practice field on Tuesday as they get ready to face the 2-5 Wildcats for the noon kickoff at Commonwealth Stadium. It will be the first game for Auburn at Kentucky since 1995. The Tigers moved up to 17 in the Associated Press poll and are 18 in the USA Today poll.


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