Taylor Looking For More Out Of Passing Game

Senior wide receiver Courtney Taylor talks about this week's game with South Carolina and Auburn's lack of production in the passing game.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn's passing game has heavily relied on senior wide receiver Courtney Taylor so far during the 2006 season.

Making a third of histeam's receptions with 18, triple that of any other player on the roster, Taylor can expect to see plenty of extra attention from opposing defenses, but he says that it's not something that bothers him heading into this week's matchup with South Carolina.

"I'm not used to it but at the same time I welcome it," Taylor says. "It's just a challenge. I'm competitive. I want to show people that I don't care how many people they put on me I'm going to make the play and I'm going to do what I have to do to make plays."

Making plays is something Taylor had no problems doing his first two seasons with the Tigers, but that changed in 2005 when his production dropped due to a nagging injury that wouldn't let him get to full speed. Because of that he became a secondary guy in the passing game to Ben Obomanu, Devin Aromashodu and Anthony Mix. Now the go-to guy for the Tigers once again, Taylor says it's imperative the offense find some receivers to take up the slack behind him.

"It's going to be hugely important," he points out. "We're about to go down this long stretch and I'm sure a lot of schools--they might not try to double team me--will get to the point where they want to take me out of the passing game and rely on the other guys to beat them. I think we have the talent and have all the skill at the position to do that."

This week is a chance for Taylor and the Tigers to capture some of the national spotlight playing on ESPN. The only game in the country at the time on Thursday, Auburn's battle with the Gamecocks is something that Taylor says gets him and the Tigers ready for action.

"All of the national attention is going to be on us," he says. "We want to show the whole nation how good we really are. We want to get to a point where we want to show everybody we're a good football team. That's why I like playing on Thursday."

This could be the week that Taylor and the offense finally get the passing game more involved in the team's success after four games in which the running game was featured. As a team leader Taylor says it doesn't matter how the Tigers do it as long as they get the victory, but as a competitor he also wants to do his fair share to help and because of that he says he is feeling a little frustrated heading into Thursday night.

"I'm a receiver," Taylor says. "If I sat here and said it didn't I would be lying. Receivers, we love to have the ball in our hands. The past four weeks we have been a run-based team. We have been putting it in the air trying to balance it out, but down this last stretch I know a lot more opportunities are going to come. I'm excited and ready for the opportunities."

"In order for this team to be successful we're going to have to make plays in big-time situations," he adds. "We know they're going to put guys in the box and we know they are going to dare us to throw the ball. I like to tell our guys that if you can't get excited about this you don't need to come on the trip period."

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