Trott Taking Larger Role

Many young Auburn players are hoping that Saturday's game against Buffalo will be an opportunity to gain experience.

Auburn, Ala.--After playing a slugfest against last Saturday against LSU, this week's matchup with Buffalo out of the Mid-American Conference comes at a perfect time for the Auburn Tigers.

It will most likely allow Brandon Cox and Kenny Irons to rest and get healthy and it will also be a good game for tight ends Tommy Trott and Gabe McKenzie to get some valuable playing time after senior Cole Bennett broke a bone in his ankle against LSU.

Bennett was injured early in the game and the redshirt freshman duo of Trott and McKenzie subbed in and out each series in the 7-3 win.

"It's real unfortunate for the team that Cole went down," Trott says. "You never want to see a fellow teammate go down so we feel real bad for Cole, especially being his senior year.

"Me and Gabe have both gotten a good amount of snaps so it's not like we're going to be thrown into the fire," he adds. "We've been out there. One of us is going to start the game, but besides that it's going to be the same as usual."

The Bulls are allowing 27.3 points per game this season against Temple, Bowling Green and Northern Illinois. They play a style of defense that is fairly similar to what Auburn has run in recent years under Gene Chizik and David Gibbs.

"They're a base 4-3 defense and they've got a good defense," Trott notes. "Buffalo is a good team and we're going to have to come out and we're going to have play hard. It's a 4-3 and it's very basic so far from what I've seen."

Auburn scored just seven points against LSU so a point of emphasis this week regardless of the opponent for the Tigers is to get better and more efficient on offense. Ranked second in the country by the AP Poll, Auburn will definitely need to improve in the running and passing game by October when Arkansas and Florida travel to Jordan-Hare on the seventh and the 14th.

"We've got to get better every week to get to our ultimate goal--not only the SEC Championship but the National Championship," Trott says. "We've still got to come out, play hard, practice hard all week, keep making strides and get better as a team."

Trott's pass blocking ability has come easy to him because of athletic ability, but he says one area that he needs to continue to work on is run blocking, an area that the entire line struggled with against LSU.

"My run blocking has come a long ways," he says. "My main struggle in run blocking right now is my pad level. Sometimes I get too high and defenders get underneath me. That's when I struggle. I feel like I'm able to hold my own out there. I don't know if I'm where Cole or Gabe is, but I'm a whole lot closer than I used to be and I think I'm getting there."

Cox is expected to start at quarterback for the Tigers despite recovering from ankle and knee sprains so Trott and the other receivers should have chances to catch passes from the junior lefty on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CDT at Jordan-Hare Stadium. There is no television coverage of the game.

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