Auburn, Ala.--Brandon Cox is known for his accuracy and not making mistakes. Although he put up good numbers in a 27-0 victory over Arkansas State Saturday, the junior struggled in two of his areas of strength as the offense failed to play up to par against the Indians.
Normally careful with the football, Cox threw several ill-advised passes on Saturday that resulted in two interceptions. It was his first multiple interception game in over a year. The junior says that it was yet another day when the offense just didn't seem to make enough good plays yet found a way to get the job done.
"On the first one the db made a good play," Cox says. "On the second one I threw it late and the corner came off and made a good play. Offensively it was the same old story. We put up good yards but we still didn't score enough points. We scored enough points to win but not enough to be satisfied.
"It's the same questions we've had the last couple of weeks," he adds. "Offensively we're moving the ball and we just can't get in the end zone. We got there twice today but we had penalties and had to kick field goals. I don't know what to say about it. We're putting up good numbers and moving the ball great and being efficient. We're just not getting in the end zone. Hopefully that will come around the next two weeks."
Cox is looking for fewer mistakes out of the offense than occurred on Saturday.
In addition to the interceptions by Cox he also had a fumble on a third down play when the Tigers only needed a yard to keep a drive going deep in Arkansas State territory. He says the offense isn't happy about the turnovers but it's something they don't expect to happen again.
"It is a concern," Cox says. "We only had seven going into the game last week. Arkansas State has been pretty good about creating turnovers and they did a good job today. I don't think we'll have the turnovers the next two weeks like we've had the past couple of weeks."
One of the bright spots on offense was the play of wide receiver Courtney Taylor. For the second game in a row the senior went over the century mark in receiving, this time with 116 yards on four catches. He also added his second touchdown of the season. Cox says that his favorite target seems to be heating up at just the right time.
"Courtney has been great," Cox says. "He finally got in the end zone a couple of weeks ago and got in the end zone today. Everybody is kidding him about getting run down by a linebacker because he could have had another touchdown. He's making big plays. He caught that one at the line of scrimmage and broke some tackles. He's been a play maker and he makes plays when he gets the ball."
Taylor had one of the game's biggest plays with a 57-yard catch and run that put the Tigers in scoring position. It was one of nine plays of 16 or more yards by the offense on the day. That's a step in the right direction for an offense that had been more plodding this season than explosive. With Georgia and Alabama coming up the next two weeks Cox says that sooner or later the Tigers are going to have to turn those plays into touchdowns before it's too late.
"That's something we haven't been doing since the first game," Cox says of the big plays. "In that game we had some big plays but since then we've kind of been moving the ball down the field and getting first downs. Today we had some big plays happen. That's good. We still didn't get it in the end zone but it's something we can build off of.
"We just keep saying next week and next week," he adds. "We've tried everything. Maybe we just need some luck, some luck to go our way and break a tackle to get in to the end zone. Hopefully next week it will happen."