Tuberville: Highs And Lows In Victory Over UK

Tommy Tuberville talks about the win over Kentucky and the state of his team heading into Georgia week.

Auburn, Ala.-–Coming off a 49-27 victory over Kentucky on the road Saturday, Auburn's Tommy Tuberville says his team is healthy for the most part. After sitting out the win to rest up, both Timmy Duckworth and Brad Lester are both expected back on offense. Defensively Antarrious Williams played special teams only against Kentucky, but will practice and play this Saturday against Georgia.

"We did have a few injuries and some guys beat up," Tuberville says. "Kevin Sears, Travis Williams, Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu and some guys are beat up, but they will be back either Tuesday or Wednesday. It's nothing major. They're just bruised up. It was a pretty physical game."

In a game in which Auburn gave up over 450 yards to the league's worst offense, the Tigers did what they had to do to get the victory. While in the end the gameplan worked, but not before the Wildcats put up some good numbers against one of the country's top-rated defenses.

"They picked us on one play and it was a bad play for us and a good play for them," Tuberville says. "It was just poor technique on about a 60 or 70-yard pass. A couple of the others were scrambles and some guys got behind us on the backside. We over-pursued with a couple of young players. Those things will happen.

"It was a good lesson learned," he adds. "It's a good film to have. Some good things for our guys to see and learn from. I thought they executed pretty well in the second half. They went to a no-huddle and we stayed in mostly zone. We'll be a lot more prepared for that kind of scenario going into this week than we were last week."

Perhaps most troubling was Auburn's lack of ability to stop a Kentucky passing game that entered the contest averaging just 155.7 yards per game. Getting more that double that against the Tigers, Kentucky may have just given Tuberville and the coaching staff all the ammunition they need for practice this week.

"You hate to go through that scenario, but it's probably good to get brought down to size a little bit," he adds. "There were a lot of articles about how good we were in pass defense and how strong our defense has been. Sometimes you need to be a little bit humbled. We were definitely done that yesterday.

"Some was our fault as coaches and some was the players. Some had a lot to do with the gameplan Kentucky brought in. They executed. They threw it and their receivers caught the ball well. Sometimes it wasn't a perfect through, but they made plays. You're not going to be able to defend all of them. We've always had a lot to work on. We've been a work in progress all year long."

Junior Kenny Irons is third in the SEC, averaging 102.6 yards per game. His 10 rushing touchdowns are first in the league.

Offensively the story for Auburn was a running game that pounded the Wildcats into submission all night long. Kenny Irons and reserve Tristan Davis torched Kentucky for 100-yard games while Smith added 99 yards on the ground. Tuberville says that he continues to be amazed at the offensive production the Tigers have had this season despite playing so many new faces in key spots.

"All of the coaches have done a much more accomplished job this year on offense because of the situation they were in with a new quarterback, two new running backs, I think they've done an outstanding job," Tuberville says. "We keep getting better every week. That's a credit to the coaches keeping the intensity going and working on things they need to work on.

"Al (Borges) has done a great job with all of the coaches and players. I'm more astonished each week of how prepared we are for certain things the other team does. We take advantage of it. Knock on wood, we'll keep playing that way on offense and stay as balanced as we've been."

The backfield continues to get deeper with Lester back healthy and ready to go this week against the Georgia Bulldogs. That puts three healthy backs on the field for the Tigers and Tuberville says the plans are to use everyone in some capacity, even the little-used Davis.

"Brad is ready to go," Tuberville says. "He probably could have played last week, but we wanted to get him all the way (back) feeling confident about his leg. He actually ran full speed in most of the drills last week. We'll give him carries along with Kenny.

"He was doing well for us before he got hurt. I think he's going to add a little bit. Kenny has carried the ball over 100 times the last four weeks. That's a lot of carries. Both will be ready to play along with Tre Smith and Tristan Davis."

According to Tuberville Smith will also continue to be the man returning punts for the Tigers. Despite his third fumble in two games, the junior is the most experienced player Auburn has at the position and that's enough for his head coach.

"We're going to leave him there," Tuberville says. "He made a mistake two weeks in a row, but turned it around on the next one. The guy made the punt of his life and he caught it falling backwards. He probably saved us 15 or 20 yards. I would have hated to have a young guy back there trying to make that catch.

"Now we're down to the nitty gritty in terms of our season. You want the most experienced guys on the field in games like this. I've got all the confidence in the world against Tre He's just got to do a better job of concentrating once he's got the ball in his hands."


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