AU's OL Coach Upset With Play Vs. Ole Miss

Auburn assistant football coach Hugh Nall comments on the offensive line.

Auburn, Ala.--To say Hugh Nall is unhappy with the way his Auburn offensive line played vs. Ole Miss would be an understatement.

Except for a good game by senior tackle Marcus McNeill, Nall says the starters had a disappointing performance as Auburn improved its record to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the SEC.

"It started early," Nall says. "In the first couple of plays we gave up a sack, we gave up a pressure and that surprised me because we had been playing really well. They were really flat. That's my fault. Those guys weren't ready to play.

"Yeah, we played them good enough to beat them 27-3 and we did some good things, but not enough, mainly in the protection area," Nall says.

Nall notes that in the first seven games the offensive line was responsible for a total of five quarterback sacks. Against Ole Miss, the Rebels were credited with four sacks, which were all the fault of the line, says Nall, who adds in his opinion the Tigers gave up another sack when quarterback Brandon Cox was hit as he was passing and the play was ruled a fumble.

"That is just uncalled for," says Nall, whose line had strong performances in back to back SEC road games at Arkansas and LSU.

"I am not taking away from Ole Miss," the offensive line coach adds. "I told everybody all week that they were the quickest front four across the board we had seen in a while. They just outplayed us and whipped us. Bottom line."

Nall says that he should have rested Tim Duckworth vs. Ole Miss because the junior struggled to play with a groin pull.

While the rest of the team had a light workout on Sunday, the offensive linemen were on the practice field early and late going through drills. They will be back at it on Tuesday after having the NCAA-mandated off day on Monday.

Nall will likely be reminding the group of how it played against Ole Miss. "I guess there will be days like that, but there better not be many more," he says.

"I blame myself for not giving them enough fundamental work," Nall adds. "I have always been a fundamentalist and I believe the fundamental work we have had in the past few weeks has been limited...I feel like a lot of the mistakes were fundamental mistakes and that is coaching, or lack of it."

Nall says that Ole Miss "threw a few new things at us," but nothing that the his offensive line shouldn't have been able to recognize quickly and handle.

The veteran assistant coach will be looking for the Tigers to play much better on Saturday at Kentucky. "Just like in any SEC game, they are going to compete," he says of the Wildcats, who are big underdogs for Auburn's first visit to Commonwealth Stadium since 1995.

" Look what happened in Knoxville the other night." says Nall, pointing out South Carolina's victory over Tennessee. "We better be ready to play. After what we did (Saturday), we better pick it up although there were still a lot of good things."

Kickoff time for Saturday's game vs. the Wildcats is set for noon CST. There is no television coverage for the contest.

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