Gran Far From Pleased With Running Backs

Auburn assistant football coach Eddie Gran watched his backs put up good numbers, but that isn't good enough for the running backs coach.

Auburn, Ala.--The offense had more success running the football in scrimmage two than in scrimmage one, but don't assume that Auburn running backs coach Eddie Gran was pleased with what he saw on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Tre Smith rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns, threw a 22-yard halfback pass and caught nine passes for 55 yards, but didn't win praise from Gran because he fumbled the football twice.

Ben Tate, the 17-year-old freshman, ran the ball 18 times for 83 yards and a touchdown, but Gran noticed he missed a pass protection block.

"One thing I just talked to the guys about is we have to be more consistent at the running back position," Gran says. "I saw some great things and I saw some awful things. It was just bad.

"I saw some great effort, some physical play and want-to, but we can't fumble the ball, we can't miss pass protection and we can't drop balls," Gran adds.

Starting tailback Kenny Irons ran the ball 11 times for 53 yards. Carl Stewart, who is recovering from an injury, did not carry the ball.

Brad Lester rushed 20 times for 56 yards and one score. Fullback Stephen Gowland had two carries for 14 yards

However, those solid numbers aren't good enough for Gran. "Right now, we aren't consistent enough to beat anybody that we need to beat to win a championship here," he says. "We have a lot of work to do.

"It is consistency," Gran adds. "At times, Tre Smith looked like the old Tre Smith, but you can't put the ball on the ground. If you do that you aren't going to play.

"They all played inconsistently. I am telling you what I saw and I still have got to watch film and it is never as good as you think or as bad as you think, but I can tell you right now that the key to our deal next week will be developing consistency."

The Tigers will take the day off on Sunday, watch video of their play on Monday and return to the practice field on Tuesday.

Gran did have praise for All-SEC senior tailback Irons. "Kenny looks like he is playing solid," the running backs coach says. "It looks like he is running the ball hard. I am excited about what he is doing."

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