Lee Ziemba, who has started every game at right tackle, and Chaz Ramsey, who has been a starter since the fourth game of the season at right guard, both note they are working to become better blockers as the Tigers plan their final non-conference game of the regular season this Saturday vs. Tennessee Tech.
"I think I am coming along pretty well," Ramsey says. "Coach Nall (offensive line coach Hugh Nall), every week, is just talking about the little things I have got to get right. I am still working on technique and finishing blocks and stuff. That is what I love about him. He is always telling you about something you can improve on, even if you have a great game you always have got something you can improve. I am doing alright. I have still got to get a lot better."
Ziemba, who graded 86 percent in Auburn's victory over Ole Miss, says, "I believe I have made a lot of progress. My grades are going up. I am more comfortable during the games. The game has slowed down so much for me. It is just the little things I need to work on--my steps, my pad level.
"I am just continuing to tell me what Coach Nall tells me to do," Ziemba adds. "He is a good coach. There is always something I need to work on because no one is perfect. I could have a great game and there would still be umpteen things to work on so I am just going to keep working."
Lee Ziemba is preparing for his 10th college start.
The freshmen received some criticism for what head coach Tommy Tuberville and Nall say was an unintentional chop block on LSU lineman Glenn Dorsey is Auburn's 30-24 loss in Baton Rouge on a double-team situation. ESPN's cameras caught the play and replayed it during the SEC West showdown matching the Auburn and LSU in Tiger Stadium.
"Coach Nall and Coach Tubs told me not to worry about anything," Ramsey says. "The media was all on me and everything. They said they would handle it and just keep playing hard and that is what we did."
Ramsey says he avoided reading articles on the subject. "I didn't worry about it," he says. "I don't like looking at that kind of stuff. It just messes with my head and gets me mad. There is nothing I can do about it."
Ziemba agrees with Ramsey and says, "We haven't got time for all of that. We are battling with the school thing and trying to get ready for the next week's game. We don't have time to look up any of that stuff.
"I am just going to keep trucking.," he says. "It just happened. It was unfortunate. It was not the way it was drawn up. It is not the way that we intended it to be. It is just the way it happened. It is a hard game. Things like that happen all of the time."
The first team offensive line didn't allow a sack in Auburn's 17-3 victory over Ole Miss. Ziemba points out that he sees progress up front. The tackle says he believes Nall likes the progress he is seeing. "Obviously, we are getting a lot more comfortable with the protections," says Ziemba, who adds that the line is requiring less help on pass protection from the tight ends.
Ramsey, a native of Mississippi who didn't get to play in AU's upset loss to Mississippi State, says he was pleased to get the victory over Ole Miss.
"They had some big guys up front on the defensive line," notes Ramsey, who graded 84 percent vs. the Rebels. "We knew they were going to be big and physical to start off with. We had been watching film on them all week. They had some good linebackers. Coach O gets them fired up ready to play every game so they came out and they were ready."
Auburn rushed the football 48 times vs. Ole Miss for 231 net yards. "It is fun at times," Ramsey says of that style of offensive football. "It will wear on you pretty quick running that much as we did (Saturday night). If you are getting after them and moving the ball it is real fun because they know in the back of their mind they can't stop you and in the back of yours they can't either."
Next up for the Tigers is a 1:30 p.m. Homecoming game this Saturday as the Tigers have their first ever football game vs. Tennessee Tech.