Sunday Football Notes 1

News and notes from Tommy Tuberville's Sunday teleconference following the Tigers' 26-23 overtime loss to South Florida are featured.

As was the case against Kansas State, the Auburn coaches were pleased with the effort from the team against South Florida. The defense was largely responsible for the win over Kansas State and it gave the Tigers a chance against the Bulls. However, playing without four starters for most of the game they were unable to force any turnovers.

"I saw some improvement from the first game to the second game in some areas," Tuberville said on Sunday. "Again, the consistency is just not there for us to be a good football team. We got some good individual efforts, but this is not an individual sport.

"I thought defensively we played our hearts out. We just didn't have enough to finish it out in the end... As I told the defense, you can't be proud of how you played when you lose and you also don't cause any turnovers. We've got to cause turnovers."

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Auburn was without Tray Blackmon and Aairon Savage and also lost Jonathan Wilhite and Merrill Johnson for most of the game. Punter Ryan Shoemaker was also injured.

"We're pretty beat up as you would think," Tuberville noted. "Defensively after the first week we lost a few players and we'll lose some more this week after that one. We've got several guys beat up and we won't talk about those guys until Tuesday. There is no reason because we just don't know who is going to be there and who's not."

Both Shoemaker and kicker Wes Byrum have been injured covering kicks. Patrick Tatum and Zach Kutch have filled in on punt and kickoff return, respectively. With the defense on the field for 79 plays and USF taking advantage of a 59-yard kickoff return in the final minutes, Tuberville said the coaches would make an effort to use more players on special teams.

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Tuberville said after the game that changes had to be made, but the coaches are still not certain where those changes are going to be.

"We've looked at the film today (Sunday) and we'll look at it again tonight as a staff," he said. "We'll decide if there is any changes that we think will make us better--anybody that might give better effort, anybody that might be better fundamentally, anybody that might give us a spark. That's what you do."

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Brandon Cox was responsible for three of Auburn's five turnovers. Mario Fannin, on back-to-back offensive plays, had the other two.

"We knew going into the season he was going to have problems in terms of concentration, trying to learn the offense, checking off at the line of scrimmage and when you change a play at the line you've got to shift gears. He did that last night. He did it pretty good and he got caught up in it. He was probably thinking more about doing the right thing than doing a hand off. People wanted to see him and we wanted to see him, and he made a couple of mistakes. But he made a lot of positive plays. He moved the pile for us, he's a physical running back, he probably gives us a little more speed than what we have back there when we don't have a Brad Lester or a Tristan Davis. He's going to be a major plus for us."


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