Slaughter Expects Passing Game Improvements

As the Tigers prepare for their second game, an Auburn wide receiver discusses the offense.

Auburn, Ala.--Sophomore Chris Slaughter caught his first college touchdown pass on Saturday night, but wasn't pleased with his or the offense's overall performance in Auburn's 34-0 football victory over ULM.

As the Tigers prepare for this Saturday's kickoff vs. Southern Miss, Slaughter says to look for better numbers from the passing game.

"I think we are going to have some good passing yardage this week," predicts Slaughter, who notes that offensive coordinator Tony Franklin "gave us a good speech in a team meeting" on Monday and that resulted in what the receiver says was a really good practice on Monday evening. "We went out there and came together," the sophomore says.

The wide receiver says the offense was frustrated in the opener because the Tigers didn't move the ball consistently, especially in the first half. "Coach Franklin told us to stop pointing fingers, and he was right, and everybody respected that," Slaughter adds.

The sophomore caught the only touchdown pass on opening night, a three-yarder he hauled in at the back of the end zone on a ball thrown by Chris Todd. "Coach Franklin told me to go out there and be ready to make a catch because in this offense you never know who is going to make the big play," Slaughter says.

Earlier in the game he had a chance to make a big play on a perfectly thrown bomb he dropped on the sideline. "As I was running I lost track of the ball," Slaughter says. "I just wish I could have caught that one."

Chris Slaughter

While Slaughter was disappointed the Tigers only totaled 85 yards receiving vs. ULM, he says he wasn't surprised that they had a good night running the football. Auburn finished the game with 321 net rushing yards. The team had its highest rushing total since Nov. 11th, 2005 in a 49-27 win at Kentucky when the Tigers gained 388 yards as Kenny Irons and Tristan Davis had big games.

"We have good backs and I think we are going to have a lot of rushing yards this season," the receiver predicts.

Next on the agenda is the Golden Eagles of Southern Mississippi, a team that had no problem in the opener, racking up 633 yards in toying with Louisiana-LaFayette 51-21 in a game Southern Miss took control of its season opener in the first half. At the break Coach Larry Fedora's team was on top 34-14 and never seriously challenged after that.

Kickoff time this Saturday is 11:30 a.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium for a game that will be regionally televised by Raycom Sports as the Tigers and Golden Eagles meet for the first time since the undefeated 1993 Auburn team took a 35-24 victory.

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