Tuberville: Pride and Progress

Comments from Auburn's head football coach are featured following AU's 35-7 victory over Vanderbilt.

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Tuberville's Tigers jumped on Vanderbilt early and turned what he expected to be a tight game into a laugher on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"I'm proud of the entire team," Auburn's head football coach said after his team's 35-7 victory. "I'm proud of the coaching staff. It's been a tough first six games in terms of setbacks with injuries and things.

"It's hard to improve when you are having to play different guys each week," he said. "We are halfway through the season at 4-2. It wasn't a very good start to the season, obviously, but these guys have rallied and come back and have played pretty good football.

"We have a two-game road session the next couple of weeks that is going to be very tough. I like where we stand. We are making strides. This team is getting confidence, and we are starting to believe in each other and starting to play as a team."

The Tigers improved to 2-1 in the SEC with their third straight win and the 100th of Tuberville's career as a head coach.

We are making improvement," he said. "That is what it is all about. I was very, very concerned today going into this game after playing the way we did last week expending all the energy and with all the accolades afterwards and players listening to things. That shows you that we are growing up a little bit. At times we look like a junior varsity team in terms of age, not how we were playing. Man, we have a lot of guys hurt.

"Jason Bosley got hurt today," Tuberville said of the starting junior center who suffered a knee sprain. "Sooner or later, he is going to get a break and this team is going to get a break. I don't know how long he will be out, but it's not good.

"I am real proud of the offense with the way they came out and set the tone. That's the first time that we have really done that this year. We are starting to look a little bit better each week. I think the momentum that we had last week in being able to control the ball helped us this week.

"Brandon (Cox) had a good day," Tuberville said. "He made a couple of errant passes, but again, made a lot of good decisions. It's good to have Brad Lester back. Ben Tate keeps getting stronger. Our offensive line is improving as we go along. We are still a work in progress. Our receivers are doing a good job.

"Defensively, you can't say enough about the defense with the way they have been playing," Tuberville said. "I think we had four starters out on defense today, and the defensive coaches and players did a great job against a very good offensive team that has given a lot of people problems. We are getting a lot of yards and doing some good things. It is good to see that happening.

"Our kicking game is getting a little bit better. We need to improve in some areas. Vanderbilt has a good team. Bobby Johnson has done a good job of bringing his team to another level. They came in here with higher expectations than what happened today. They just caught a pretty good football team getting better and making improvements."

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