Auburn, Ala.--A day removed from an offensive output by his unit against the Georgia Bulldogs, Auburn's Al Borges says that watching the film didn't change his feelings on the performance Saturday. Throwing four interceptions and totaling less than 200 yards, Borges says the offense just never got in a rhythm because of the turnovers and it hurt them time and time again.
"We just turned the ball over too much and put ourselves in some God-awful situations," Borges says. "We just never got in sync. The thing that is a crying shame is that it looked like we could run the ball some. Generally when we run the ball well our whole offense runs pretty well. This was an unusual day."
With Georgia moving the ball early against Auburn's defense the Tigers needed to play catch-up football but with Cox struggling it only added to the frustration in the game. In the first half three Cox interceptions helped the Bulldogs build a commanding lead with one of them going directly for a touchdown. Borges says it's hard to explain a day like the one Brandon had but they'll just work to correct the problems and get ready for this weekend's game against Alabama.
"It's tough to explain," Borges says. "You have to individualize each mistake. The one thing to understand about that position is that your mistakes can really be painful. Another guy's mistakes can be a temporary pain. When a quarterback makes a mistake, in particular an interception, that can really be painful. I know one ball was tipped and that was unfortunate.
"We've just got to get back to some fundamental things that we've done well forever and realize why we are where we are. I think he'll be fine. Brandon has always done a wonderful job of processing the information and fixing the mistake. I don't see any reason why he won't this time too."
The last time Cox had a day this bad was in his first career start against Georgia Tech. Despite throwing for over 300 yards Cox turned the ball over too many times for the Tigers to overcome in a loss. Borges says that Cox learned something about himself that night and he believes the learning is still going on.
Something you will see more of this week is the running game. It was something Borges says they hoped to give Georgia a steady dose of but the turnovers and long drives by the Bulldogs on offense kept the running game to a minimum. In turn that kept Auburn's offense in a funk throughout the day.
"We only threw 12 passes," Borges says. "I don't know how much more I could have run it. We only had 40 plays and threw 12 passes. Actually I called 16 passes. We ran the ball plenty but when we had opportunities to throw it we should have thrown it better and more efficient."
You can expect more touches for Brad Lester this week after he scored yet another touchdown on one of his few carries against Georgia.
One thing he's sure of though is that he doesn't want his quarterback to stop playing his game. That means the Tigers will continue to throw the football and run the offense business as usual. Borges says that's important because they want Cox to continue to be aggressive without making the mistakes.
"The biggest thing with any position but in particular the quarterback is that his psyche can be delicate," Borges says. "You don't want to over-react too much nor do you want to under react. You have to sit down with him and you have to fix the mistakes. If you scare him and you make him cautious he'll lose all of his effectiveness.
"You want to keep swinging for home runs but by the same token when the pitch is outside you have to take it for a ball. Don't coach caution into players because it will turn them into cautious players and that's not how you play this game."