Borges: Lack of Ground Game Costs AU

Aubuarn offensive coordinator Al Borges discusses Auburn's 20-24 loss to LSU.

Baton Rouge, La.--Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges says his team's inability to convert third downs in the second half was tough to overcome as the Tigers fell 30-24 to LSU on Saturday night.

At halftime Auburn had converted 4-8 third downs and led 17-7. The Tigers managed to convert just one of four third downs in the third period and that helped LSU to a comeback win.

"We have got to give them a chance to rest and score some points while they are resting," Borges says of the Auburn defense, which allowed 17 fourth quarter points after giving up just 13 in the first three periods.

Borges says Auburn's inability to run the ball in the third quarter was a killer. The Tigers netted just 17 ground yards in that period on eight carries.

"We weren't running the ball as well as we were in the first half and that had an effect on how we did," he says. "It does every game. If we are not running the ball, it hinders what we can do."

Borges says that LSU made some halftime adjustments, but "nothing major" that would account for AU's third quarter struggles. "They zoned us more than maybe we would have anticipated, but I don't think that was a major deal," he says. "They did a nice job. They played hard and made some plays on us. They made some nice plays on slants. I think they should get some credit, too."

Auburn finally snapped out of its offensive slump on its final chance. The Tigers moved the football 83 yards on nine plays. Seven of those were passes and five were completions, including a three-yard touchdown pass to Rodgeriqus Smith that put Auburn ahead 24-23 with 3:21 to play.

"We got some good pass protection," on the drive says Borges, who notes that from what he could tell King Dunlap did a solid job filling in at left tackle for injured starter Ryan Pugh, who tried to play but was a no-go in pregame warmups.

"We decided to spread them out a little bit and throw the ball," he says. "We had not been running the ball with consistency. We had a few hits in the run game, but it wasn't consistent enough so the last drive we decided to put it in the air and go after their coverage."

Commenting on losing the game in dramatic fashion with an LSU touchdown pass with a second left, Borges says, ""I think our guys will be fine. They are a resilient group. They proved it earlier in the season when they are down and out that they can come back."


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