Cox, Borges Wary of Mississippi State Defense

Auburn, Ala.--Junior quarterback Brandon Cox says he is looking forward to stepping up his level of performance as Auburn begins SEC play on Saturday morning at Mississippi State.

"It could have been better, but for the first game we had no turnovers--no interceptions, fumbles or anything," the left-hander says. "That was good, but me personally I missed a few passes that I should have made. I think being the first game, you just have to get used to the speed, but I think I will improve on that."

Cox's coach, Al Borges, gave the quarterback a positive review in game one, particularly on the way he handled the offense. However, Borges notes that Cox did not have a good day throwing short passes, something the QB usually does very well.

"What's cool about the first game is that we didn't have a false start, we had one penalty that may have been and may not have been, we had no turnovers and we were pretty clean for the first time out," Borges says.

Cox finished Auburn's 40-14 victory over Washington State with 191 passing yards and one touchdown as he completed 11-18 passes.

Kickoff time is 11:30 a.m. for Auburn's league opener on Saturday and the game from Mississippi State will be televised regionally by Lincoln Financial Sports.

"They are good," Cox says of the MSU defense, which played well in the opener, a 15-0 loss to South Carolina.

"I watched the South Carolina game on Thursday and they held a great offense to 15 points," Cox says. "We have already watched a little film on them. This is the SEC. It is an SEC defense. They are going to be bigger, faster. We just have to get ready for them. It is going to be a good matchup."

Borges agrees with Cox's view of the Mississippi State defense. "This is a very salty group," Auburn's offensive coordinator says. "This group is a lot like Ole Miss a year ago. Ole Miss returned a lot of starters, particularly on the defensive line. They did a heck of a job against us when we played them and Mississippi State did, too. They remind me a little bit of them and they've got, what, nine of 11 (starters) back?

"This is a formidable defense now. I mean legitimate. It's a good second game and good second test.

"They're very active and they run very well," Borges adds. "They have good speed and they don't seem to give up many big plays. Watching them on tape it seemed like the only play they gave up was that trick play. South Carolina was not moving the ball on them very well. They had to resort to that to score. That scares you a little bit."

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