Bennett and Offense Looking for Improvement

Veteran Cole Bennett talks with Inside the Auburn Tigers about the 2007 version of the offense.

Auburn, Ala.--Cole Bennett has seen it all from the Auburn offense--the good, the bad and the ugly. He was around when it didn't have any personality way back when Hugh Nall and Steve Ensminger were calling the plays in 2003. Bennett was also part of arguably the SEC's most successful offenses in Al Borges' first two seasons in 2004 and 2005. And through one game of the 2007 season, this year's offense appears to have the same struggling style it did in 2006 when Bennett played in only three games because of an ankle injury.

"I definitely think we have the big-play potential like in '04," Bennett says, "but then again there are going to be times when we have to grind it out.

"Before I'd get really frustrated," he adds, "and I got really frustrated Saturday because I knew that we could be so much better and we should be scoring a lot more points and doing a lot more stuff. As I've grown as an individual and as a player I've tried to keep those frustrations in check. When I get frustrated I start screwing up stuff and that affects the team. It was frustrating, but I saw a lot of potential and a lot of promise. We're really close, sometimes just one block away from breaking it open."

Whether it was a receiver dropping a pass, a lineman missing a block, a quarterback not throwing the ball away or a running back missing a hole, the Auburn offense struggled for the first 55 minutes against Kansas State and looked much like the 2006 offense.

The final five minutes were good as it drove 58 yards on one possession for the game winning score, and then got to run the victory formation on the other.

"The last drive and the last play is what you think about the most because that's what is freshest in your mind," Bennett says. "Finishing strong is definitely better than starting slow. It was good that we could win like that and we could finish on a good note. It's like we were having trouble all game and then we kind of put it together in the end. It's definitely a good feeling."

They say that the most improvement for a football team comes between game one and game two. Auburn's offensive will definitely need to fall into that category with South Florida marching into town on Saturday.

"They've got a lot of speed and the guys are a little bit smaller--small being a relative term. When you're 250 pounds you're not a small individual," Bennett jokes. "They're a little bit shiftier team. They'll come off and they'll hit you and they definitely have an aggressive-type attitude about them. They didn't show a lot last week, so we have to go back to last year to watch some film and see what they do.

"It could definitely go 60 minutes," he continues. "They're definitely just as good as Kansas State. They have just as much speed and just as much talent so this could be a barn-burner again this week. You never know."

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