Sunday Offensive Notes and Quotes

Al Borges' offense gained 99 yards net rushing, 227 passing and was able to keep the Florida offense off the field by grinding out 23 first downs.

Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges' first visit to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium was a success as the Tigers scored a pair of early touchdowns and then was able to tack on the game-winning points in clutch time. He says it was about as expected, but he's heard much louder stadiums.

"It was about like I thought," he notes. "I had never coached in The Swamp, but this isn't my first rodeo. I've been in louder places. It doesn't have nothing on LSU and I'll tell you something else--laugh if you want, but play at Oregon some time. You'll find out what loud is. You can't even hear yourself think. They don't have but 65,000 fans, but for whatever reason... They've got the ‘No Audible Zone' there. Then they turn up the sign saying ‘No Audible Zone' and you ain't audibling baby."


Under head coach Tommy Tuberville, Auburn is 66-5 when scoring 20 or more points. That turned out to be the magical number once again as 20 was enough to get in the win column and improve the Tigers' record to 3-2. Committing only one turnover and getting to 20 points, Borges was generally pleased with the play of the offense.

"There were a few deals where we thought we could exploit going into the game," Borges says. "Last night we made the plays. I don't think we had a dropped pass and we were able to get open in some crucial situations. And we converted some third downs. We've done so many things the last two weeks that made us a good offense in the past. We're running the ball, converting on third down, we had good, quality running. We didn't have big numbers because of the sacks. I think we had 155 yards rushing, which is pretty good rushing numbers against a team like that. We were efficient throwing the ball. We took some nice chunks throwing the ball and it helped.

"We were a little bit more flamboyant formation-wise and a little more misdirection than we've used in the past. We always do a few things different, but in this game we might have emptied the drawer a little more than we had in the past.

"Other than the one fumble we played a pretty solid football game," he continues. "The kids really played hard. That's the one thing I can say for this group--the last couple of weeks in particular--we played very hard from snap to whistle. There is something to be said for that, and when you're playing with so many young players you've got to have that because you're going to have some mistakes."

Two redshirt freshmen (Tim Hawthorne and Mario Fannin) and five true freshmen (Chris Slaughter, Kodi Burns, Ryan Pugh, Chaz Ramsey and Lee Ziemba) played offensively for the Tigers.

Up 7-0 and driving midway through the second quarter, the Tigers were faced with a 4th down and about a yard and a half inside the Gator five-yard line. In a situation where you would normally take the points and extend it to a two-possession advantage, Borges says he had confidence that the offensive line could make a push and get the necessary yardage. Tate carried behind Ramsey and Ziemba for the first down.

"We wouldn't have done it if we weren't (confident)," Borges explains. "The right side is a very aggressive group and they'll come off on you now. They're not always technique perfect, but they'll come off the ball. Lee Ziemba and Chaz Ramsey aren't afraid."


In wins over New Mexico State and Florida, Brandon Cox has started to look like his old self once again. He has completed 30-45 for 362 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.

"He still had a lot of pride and I think he wanted to reclaim his job," Borges says of his senior. "He's a good quarterback. He started slow--he'd be the first one to tell you.

"We caught the ball a little better this week than we did last week. We've gotten a little in the comfort zone and we ran the ball well enough to be able to do some play-passing, and the production out of our three-step drop was really good this game.

"I think (the receivers) are starting to come along," Borges continues. "We've got some talent and we were good in the spring. We just started off early on and nothing was really clicking. It wasn't always the wideouts. Sometimes we had protection problems and sometimes we had other deals. They're starting to get a little rhythm now and Brandon is getting them the ball. The last two weeks he is really throwing the ball exceptionally well."

However, Burns is expected to remain a part of the offensive game plan week to week.


Borges will be with the services of Brad Lester for the first time this season next Saturday against Vanderbilt.

"He's a big-play kind of guy. He's fresh and he's fired up to play. Brad Lester, when he's right, is worth a touchdown or two a game if you give him enough room to do it."

Kickoff against the Commodores is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Lincoln Financial Sports will have television coverage from Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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