Borges Expects More Tough Defense From LSU

Auburn's offensive coordinator, Al Borges, comments on Saturday's showndown with LSU.

Auburn, Ala.--After wrapping up Auburn's final practice for the LSU game, offensive coordinator Al Borges notes that his Tigers will be playing a very talented defensive unit on Saturday.

Auburn scored 10 points on LSU in a 2004 one-point victory and managed 17 points last year in Baton Rouge as LSU won by three points in overtime.

Comparing the 2006 LSU defense to the previous two LSU teams he coached against, Borges says, "They are a lot like them. If you put them in uniforms, any one of the three, I couldn't tell the difference between the three teams if they didn't have numbers on them. I would figure it was the same team. They are big and they are fast and they run to the ball."

Borges says one thing stands out in particular as he prepares to call plays on Saturday as third-ranked Auburn plays sixth-ranked LSU. "Speed," Borges says. "They remind me of us. They are a pressure team that has got a lot of speed. It is like playing yourself...That is a bad thing."

The coordinator says the AU offense is fortunate because it has had to practice extensively against Auburn's quick defense. "We are used to seeing that kind of tempo, which is nice, but no two teams are exactly the same," Borges says. "We will probably have to get into the game to get a feel for exactly what they are all about.

"I know this," Borges adds. "They are very aggressive. They are very much like us in that they force the issue. They don't sit back and wait for the offense to do their deal. They are going to initiate things. That is why they get turnovers."

Borges says, as always, Auburn's goal will be to have enough balance to effectively move the football running or passing. "We are going to do the best we can to do that. They are very, very good up front. If we can run the ball well enough to hold them with the play-action game and do some of our dropback stuff and keep our quarterback protected and pick the right spots to do it rather than be indiscriminate, I think we will be okay.

"We have got to stay out of third down and long," he notes. "That is, I think, very, very critical. We got into too many of those last year.

"I think another thing, too, we have got to be able to make the routine plays. Last year in this game we dropped several balls. I know they made a big deal out of how many they dropped and they did, but we dropped about as many as they dropped and that hurt us. When the ball is thrown well you have got to catch it. You have to make the routine play in this game to have a chance."

Borges says he has been pleased with the development of Auburn's young receiver corps heading into the game and he is upbeat about junior QB Brandon Cox's potential to throw the football vs. LSU and avoid what is expected to be a strong pass rush.

"I think he is a much better athlete than he gets credit for," Borges says of Cox. "I don't think he is a runner, but he has soft feet. He is pretty smooth in the pocket. He can get around and get out of the way most of the time."

Both Auburn and LSU are 2-0 coming into Saturday's game, which is set for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Borges says he has a good idea of what to expect from the LSU defense, but adds, "In the final analysis you never know. I would have never guessed we would rush the ball as well as we did last year. I thought we could rush, but then last year we didn't throw it very good.

"You don't really know going into the game what you are going to get," the offensive coordinator points out. "The bottom line to that is you have got to prepare for having to throw the ball and having to run the ball. That is why we practice our passing game as much as we practice our running game because you don't know what is going to be there once you start playing."


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