Borges: "We Can Have A Heck Of A Year"

Offensive coordinator Al Borges talks about the sharp turn-around in the last three weeks and the improvement to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the SEC.

Auburn, Ala.--It wasn't long ago that Auburn was 1-2 and the offense was downright awful. Three impressive performances with limited turnovers and offensive coordinator Al Borges is singing a different tune.

"I sat in this seat about three or four weeks ago and scratched my head," Borges says of the sharp turnaround after the 35-7 win. "Where do I start? We're scoring more points, we're moving the ball better, we're more consistent. We're not turning the ball over near as much. We've made a quantum leap.

"This biggest thing is we're really getting into the meat of this thing," he continues. "We can't rest on our laurels. We've got to continue to doing the things we're doing and continue to improve. I think we can have a heck of a year as an offensive team and consequently as a whole."

Auburn scored 55 against New Mexico State, 20 (including three when it really counted) at Florida, and 35 (28 of which came in the first half) against Vanderbilt.

The improvements have been drastic, to say the least, and that trend will have to continue for the Tigers as they prepare for road trips to Arkansas and LSU in the next two weeks.

"We're getting in rhythm and we're running the ball now," Borges explains. "When you start running the ball it just makes such a difference in everything. Your passing game opens up because of the play-actions, you stay out of long-yardage situations and it's a lot easier to get in rhythm in play calling. There are so many things you do and the kids have really taken an understanding the last three weeks and I'm proud of them.

"Having Brad (Lester) helped considerably," he adds, "but the thing we're doing so well is we're coming off the ball hard. That's number one. And we're catching the ball better, that's number two. We're staying in pretty good down-and-distance so we can throw the ball on first down. We can justify throwing the ball on first down knowing that we have a chance to catch it. The main thing is, we're running the football. It makes things difficult for the defense."

By halftime against the Commodores, the Tigers had touchdown drives of 80, 74, 51 and 92 yards. They were also five of seven on third down.

The first half stats were telling of just how dominant the Auburn offense was in the opening 30 minutes. Ben Tate had rushed for 74, Mario Fannin for 47 and Brad Lester for 46 by halftime. And Brandon Cox was 11-13 for 140 yards with a touchdown. Borges was "innovative" in his play calling, but as he likes to say it was more about the Jimmy's and the Joe's than the X's and the O's.

"It always comes down to that now. We all want to think we're gurus, but if we don't have the guys to make those things work, they won't work. Period. End of discussion."

Auburn had 324 yards by halftime before pulling the plug. It gained a ho-hum 80 yards in the second half with mostly backups in the game and, as the score called for, unimaginative play-calling as the Tigers coasted to a 35-7 victory.


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