Nothing Gran About RB Play, Coach Says

Auburn assistant coach Eddie Gran lets his displeasure be known on how his players performed for Homecoming.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn running backs coach Eddie Gran didn't like what he saw with the tale of the tape when he reviewed his team's 35-3 victory over Tennessee Tech.

The Tigers rushed for only 115 net yards on 36 carries to drop their per game average to 160.2 yards this season.

With first stringer Brad Lester sitting out to not take a chance on re-tweaking a quad muscle he hurt early in the victory over Ole Miss, Ben Tate got the start at tailback and finished the Homecoming game with just 35 yards on 14 carries while scoring one touchdown.

Backup Mario Fannin was the leading rusher. He also got 14 carries and finished with 52 yards.

Carl Stewart rushed for six yards and one score on three carries.

"They didn't very well," Gran says of the running backs as a group after grading video of their performances. "They didn't run the ball very hard. They didn't hit the hole where the were supposed to hit. I thought we were soft."

Gran says he made his point to the running backs at Sunday's practice that they have to improve this week. "We are playing Georgia," the coach says. "If that doesn't do it, we have other people who want to play."

Brad Lester, who is from Lilburn, Ga., has seven career carries for 74 yards vs. the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Tigers will have Lester back in the lineup for Saturday's 2:30 p.m. contest between the hedges in Georgia's Sanford Stadium. Gran says he is encouraged by what he saw from the junior at Sunday's practice. "He looked like he ran around pretty good," the coach notes.

Lester, who has run the ball 73 times for 330 yards and three touchdowns after missing the first five games of the season with a suspension, says he will be ready for action vs. the Bulldogs.

"I'm 100 percent," he says. "I could have played Saturday if they needed me to. They rested me last week to get me ready for this week."

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