Borges Sees Areas of Progress In Game Two

Comments from Auburn's offensive coordinator are featured after Auburn's victory over Mississippi State.

Auburn, Ala.--Offensive coordinator Al Borges was not exactly thrilled with the way the Tigers moved the football in game two, but all things considered he says he likes what he saw as his Tigers blanked Mississippi State 34-0 on Saturday.

For the 20th time in the 27 games with Borges calling the Auburn offense, the Tigers scored 30 or more points. However, Borges says it wasn't easy.

"They were stout up front," he says. "They were not easy to run the ball on. Coming into the game, we knew we were going to have to throw the ball more than we had been throwing. All told, we did what we had to do to win the game.

"The first half I was probably a little stubborn trying to run the ball, but what it did do, if nothing else, it set up the play-action game so we got some nice chunks of yardage when we did try it."

Auburn finished the game with 388 total yards with 277 coming through the air. Brandon Cox passed for 249 and backup Blake Field was 4-4 for 28 yards.

"The one goal we had is we wanted to better on third down because we were so bad a week ago on third down (3-12) and we drastically improved," Borges says. "He was a big part of that." Auburn converted 6-13 third downs vs. the Bulldogs.

Borges says he liked what he saw from senior Courtney Taylor, who caught nine passes vs. MSU for 103 yards. "We wanted to get Courtney more involved in this game, particularly early," he says. "In the opening plays we scripted some plays to get him the ball a little bit more so he got into the rhythm of the game a little bit more. That helped Brandon and helped us overall."

Last season Taylor played at less than full speed with a nagging high ankle sprain. Despite injuring a knee in preseason, he is close to full speed this season.

"I am so excited for him after what he dealt with a year ago," Borges says. "In this game we gave him a chance to show what he was capable of."

After running the very well vs. Washington State, the going was tougher vs. the Bulldogs.

"I would like to run the ball better," says Borges, whose team averaged 3.1 per rushing play and netted 111 yards. "I would say they are an excellent defensive team. We took what they gave us. They didn't give us a lot of long runs and a lot of inside stuff we had gotten last week so we just tried to take advantage of what they were giving us--throwing the ball 32 times."


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