Tate Looking For More From Offense

Auburn running back Ben Tate talks about the Tigers' second preseason scrimmage and how the offense performed.

Auburn, Ala.--Without banged up running backs Brad Lester and Tristan Davis taking part in Saturday's second preseason scrimmage for the Auburn Tigers, much of the work load went to junior Ben Tate and freshman Eric Smith.

Performing well on about a dozen carries, Tate said it was good for him to get some work heading into the 2008 season.

"I went quite a bit because Tristan and Brad are hurt," Tate said. "I went quite a bit more than I would usually go. It's okay. I like to compete so I was fine with it. I did all right. I had one big play, but other than that I did okay. I did all I was supposed to do."

Tate had the biggest play of the day for the offense with a 65-yard touchdown run on an option play. Showing his speed, Tate said it was just one of those perfect plays at the perfect time and all he had to do was run.

"I just showed my speed, my jets," Tate said. "I got on the edge and a linebacker was trying to close on me but he wasn't fast enough. It was a nice run. It was a good play call by coach (Tony) Franklin on an option. They had everyone up on the line with the secondary. It was 65 or 70 yards.

"It was an option to the left," he added. "The linebackers walked up on the line and the D-end was left free. Kodi (Kodi Burns) attacked him just like he's supposed to. He pitched me the ball. I went down the sideline and cut back across the field and outran everyone else."

Heading into the first week of classes and winding up preseason camp, Tate said taking everything into account he felt like the scrimmage could have gone better for the offense. He said there were several positives, but things have to keep improving if this team hopes to wind up playing for a title at the end of the year.

"The scrimmage went okay," Tate said. "On offense we've got to step it up more than we did. We had too many dropped balls. Then when everyone was getting tired we had too many mental mistakes.

"We've still got a lot of work to do, but when the offense starts clicking it's going to be hard to stop. It's going to be fun for the fans. It's going to be fun for everybody.

"We didn't click as well as we did in the first scrimmage," he added. "I think the defense did a lot better. Overall we've still got a long way to go. Our goal is to get to the SEC Championship. To get there we've still got a lot of things to do."

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