Oxford, Miss.--Statistically it was Brandon Cox's best day of the year throwing the football and fortunately for Auburn it came at just the right time. Completing 21 of 34 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown, Cox guided an Auburn offense that finished with 425 yards of total offense. Despite turning the ball over twice deep in Ole Miss territory Cox says the offense had a solid day.
"It's tough turning the ball over, especially when we are driving," Cox says. "Those two drives we were getting down close to the red zone. We recovered and put it behind us. This team does a good job of that. We put it behind us and learned from our mistakes."
Much of the reason for the offensive production can be found up front where Auburn's offensive line controlled things against an Ole Miss defense determined to crowd the line and stop the run. With the Rebels gambling Cox had plenty of open targets and he says for the most part he came through.
"I got going good pretty early and then had the interception which was tough," Cox says. "In the third quarter I had some passes I should have made. Other than that I felt good throwing the ball. Since last week I have felt good throwing the ball."
Brandon Cox threw his first interception in over 100 pass attempts on Saturday.
The time in the pocket the last two games has made for a productive passing game as much as anything. Also playing a part in that has been the health of Cox. He says that both things go hand in hand and he's happy he's able to help out his line by being more mobile.
"It's so much easier," Cox says. "I get to sit back in the pocket and throw the ball around a little bit and not feel pressure. It's good. Talking with Coach (Hugh) Nall before the game last week he said he noticed how my drops are getting better and I'm getting some depth to help out the offensive line. That's a big key, being able to get back and give the line some room to work."
With time in the pocket and feeling better Cox looked to nine different receivers on his 21 completions with senior Courtney Taylor coming up big with eight receptions for 108 yards. Fellow receiver Rodgeriqus Smith had four catches for 46 yards and a touchdown but it was Taylor that Cox looked to when times were tough. He says that's always the way it's going be with 86 in the lineup.
"He's our go-to guy in this offense," Cox says. "When there is a third down conversion I'm looking for him. I know he's going to get open and he had some big plays today."