Borges, Tigers Face Highly Rated Defense

Auburn, Ala.--Florida's defensive front has been impressive and is one of the major reasons the Gators will come into Saturday evening's football game at Auburn undefeated and ranked second and third in the major polls.

Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges says the Gators will offer a stiff challenge. "They are kind of like LSU--very similar to that," he notes.

"They are very athletic, good rushers, strong inside," Borges says. "Their rushing statistics, I think, would bear that out, plus they are getting a lot of turnovers because quarterbacks get flushed out and have to press a few throws. That ball gets ricocheting around. They have had so many popup interceptions. A lot of it has been because there is pressure on the quarterback with them running at him. They are good. They are for real."

The UF defensive line of 6-3, 296 senior tackle Marcus Thomas, 6-2, 296 senior tackle Joe Cohen, 6-3, 280 senior end Ray McDonald and 6-6, 251 junior Jarvis Moss could be the toughest test Auburn's offensive front will face all season. The Auburn line struggled in last Saturday's loss to Arkansas and getting that part of the offense performing at a higher level has been a theme of practice this week.

A major part of the equation is getting sophomore center Jason Bosley ready for his second college start after having some problems last week vs. the Razorbacks as he filled in for regular starter Joe Cope, who is out until late in the season with a knee injury.

"Jason has got another week under his belt, which really helps, because that position is so chemistry oriented," Borges says. "Guys have got to have a great feel for working together. When you take a guy out of there, there are some growing pains that go with that. Jason is more comfortable.

"Jason didn't play too bad," Borges adds. "We had a couple of snap problems, which is unusual, because we seldom have snap problems at practice with either one of our centers. In terms of doing what he was supposed to do, he was a very capable replacement and I knew he would be. He is a smart kid and he is tough."

Al Borges is looking to put more punch in an offense that scored just one touchdown and one field goal last week.

Borges is looking for improved play across the board on Saturday night after the Tigers scored just 10 points vs. Arkansas. They will have to do that against a team that is 6-0 and is nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 9.5 points per game. Opponents are only rushing for 56.8 yards per game vs. the Gators.

"Better production on first down will make a difference," Borges contends. "We have done a good job of not turning the ball over, knock on wood. If we can continue to do that and and do a better job on first down, I think we will be fine."

The Tigers and Gators game will be televised from Jordan-Hare Stadium at 6:45 p.m. CDT on Saturday with TV coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.


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