Auburn, Ala.--For Brandon Cox it has been a season to forget to this point but on Saturday night all the frustration and pain went away for a couple of hours as the fifth-year senior came on in relief of true freshman Kodi Burns to lead the Auburn Tigers to a 56-20 pounding of New Mexico State Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
After last week's game when he was booed off the field after throwing two early interceptions in Auburn's loss to Mississippi State, Cox says it feels good to get some positive feelings flowing again. That was never more present than when the students began chanting his name before a third quarter quarterback sneak for a touchdown. Cox says he didn't pay it much attention.
"It's probably the same ones that were booing," Cox says. "They're with you when you're doing good and booing you when you're doing bad. I had a lot of true fans write me throughout the week. I had a lot of letters and e-mails supporting me. I think I only had two bad ones. Everybody for the most part wrote to me that they believed in me and they were the true Auburn fans. You saw some of them tonight."
The game didn't start off well for Cox though as he fumbled the exchange with center Jason Bosley on his first play in the game in the second quarter. The miscue allowed New Mexico State to score a quick touchdown and grab away the momentum from the Tigers. Cox says it was just poor preparation on his part that caused the turnover.
"I have been taking snaps with Bosley for three years now and didn't even think about taking snaps to warm up with him," Cox says. "It cost me. We recovered and ended up pretty good."
Much of the reason for the recovery was because of Auburn's ability to run the football. With true freshmen Ryan Pugh and Chaz Ramsey joining fellow classmate Lee Ziemba in the starting lineup for the Tigers, Auburn pounded out 229 yards and five touchdowns on the ground with both Benjamin Tate and Mario Fannin rushing for 100 yards.
"We just came out there and guys were wanting to play," Cox says. "They came off the ball. We had three young guys, three true freshmen on the offensive line. They were coming off hard and we started running the ball. We were getting five or six yards a carry. You do that and it opens up the play action pass. We were doing that all night and very successful with it."
After turning the ball over 10 times in the last two games, both losses, Auburn cut the mistakes down dramatically against the Aggies Saturday night with the fumbled exchange the only turnover of the night. That is just one of the many positives on a night when Cox said the offense turned over a new leaf.
"We just kind of came together offensively," Cox says. "Like I was talking with Coach (Al) Borges, we only had one turnover and our defense got some turnovers. That's a big part of the game and it's hurt us big time the last two games. We finally controlled the ball and got some turnovers. We had a couple of short drives. Our defense had some turnovers. Turnovers is what wins you games. We did a good job of controlling the ball tonight."