Tuberville And Tigers Trying To Regroup

Coach Tommy Tuberville talks about the changes coming on offense and what they're doing to right the ship.

Auburn, Ala.--With the firing of offensive coordinator Tony Franklin coming on Wednesday, there was no question it was going to be a tough challenge for the Auburn offense on Saturday against Arkansas. Trying to get enough done to come up with a simple plan for the Razorbacks meant a lack of execution and success for the Tigers in a 25-22 loss.

Now with an off week to heal some mental and physical wounds on both sides of the ball and get ready for West Virginia, coach Tommy Tuberville says the first order of business is to find something to build on offensively and work from there beginning with how the offense is handled by the coaching staff.

"We'll sit down as a group," Tuberville says. "Yesterday was more of a team effort in terms of what we thought would work. I thought we were limited in what we were doing. The play calling was about what we could get out of it. We didn't have a lot of misdirection things. We didn't have things we could work on that were high repetition to get ready for the game.

"We'll start working today and looking at what we need to do for the next five games and we're not going to change it. We'll add a few things but we've got to get this group in a fashion where everybody can do what we're asking them to do. That starts with the quarterbacks on down."

While the quarterbacks take much of the blame, there is plenty to go around on Auburn's offense at the moment. Averaging just 292.6 total yards per game this season after a terrible night on Saturday when the Tigers rushed for just 98 yards against one of the country's worst run defenses and gave up three sacks and numerous pressure situations, Tuberville says they'll look at many different things with the week off including how things are done up front.

"We've got to look at what we're doing and how we're doing it and technique," Tuberville says. "There are a lot of things I think we can help ourselves if we change a little bit in the offensive line in terms of giving the quarterbacks a little bit more time to throw."

One of the things that the Tigers could do to help out is to be under center more in both the running and passing game. That would make the defense have to respect the power running game more and possibly slow down the pass rush at times. Tuberville says it's something they have worked on and showed some on Saturday and it has improved after some of the problems earlier in the year.

"Chris (Chris Todd) has had some problems under center but Kodi (Kodi Burns) really hasn't had a problem," Tuberville says. "He tripped one time yesterday but the snap hasn't been bad. We're going to change some things there. We've taken a lot of snaps in practice under center for really the past month. That's not a problem."

With just three practice days to implement the changes on offense for Arkansas, the Tigers did very little different and the results showed on offense. Tuberville says they'll make some moves on offense to find something that will stick and that will be the plan the rest of the season.

"We've just go to get the identity on offense," Tuberville says. "Some things will be changed. Some things will be added. Some things will be dropped. As we talked as a staff and as I told the team, whatever we do this time, and we didn't really have enough time, is what we're going to do. We're going to get better at it."

Preparing to face West Virginia in less than two weeks, Auburn is hoping to avoid its first three-game losing streak since the 2001 season. To do that things will have to improve dramatically and Tuberville says that's what they are working hard to achieve.

"We've got a sense of urgency," Tuberville says. "I'm not worried about the defense. We'll be fine on defense. We've got to get better on offense. Defensively once we get everybody back healthy we've got a chance to get back that edge we had in the first few games. We'll get stronger as we go because we've got time off between games."

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The off week comes at a good time for the Tigers as several key players are banged up. Both Jerraud Powers (hamstring) and Antoine Carter (ankle) missed the Arkansas game and are listed as 50/50 for WVU in two weeks. Running backs Brad Lester (knee) and Ben Tate (hamstring) are also banged up as well as defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (ankle) and defensive end Michael Goggans (ankle). With both Goggans and Carter hurt on Saturday Zach Clayton played both end spots for the Tigers.

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