Line of Scrimmage Won By AU, Coach Says

Louisiana Tech's head coach talks about what impressed him about the Auburn Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker said prior to their team's opener they wanted to see a physical style of play from their pupils.

On Saturday night, in Auburn's 37-13 victory over Louisiana Tech, the head coach of the visiting Bulldogs said the Tigers accomplished their mission.

"I have to start by giving Auburn credit," Derek Dooley said. "They did a great job. They are a physical football team. They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides.

"Anytime you give up 300 yards rushing, you are not going to have a good chance of winning," the third-year Tech head coach said. "I thought we fought them hard early. I was disappointed we gave up two big plays, one in the third quarter and one in the fourth, when we didn't have to.

"We were not playing smart and we had a couple of mental errors and we couldn't respond offensively," Dooley said. "Auburn's a good football team. On the road you have to execute the simple things."

Coach Derek Dooley

Auburn's offense averaged seven yards on 79 plays on Saturday. The Tigers finished with 556 total yards. AU offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn's group played fast much of the game, sometimes snapping the ball with more than 20 seconds left on the play clock.

"We prepared for it, but the hard part was the big offensive linemen and the two big running backs," Dooley said of Auburn's style of play. "Every time you try to hit them there is no way you can simulate it.

"It seemed like we were behind the chains every time they handed it off to number 44 (Ben Tate). We might be in position, but then they would scurry for six or seven yards. Then they get us around the edge so they have a good combination of speed."

The visitors trailed just 13-10 at halftime, but Auburn pulled away in the third and fourth quarters.

"I think it was a combination of things," Dooley said of the second half in which Auburn outscored the Bulldogs 24-3. "Once we got behind them a little bit, it changes a little bit of your mentality, and then they switched to man-to-man in the second half.

"They were playing zone early on and we were able to pick at it early on," Dooley said. "Once they covered us up, their guys were playing better than our guys and we just couldn't win."

Louisiana Tech hits the road again next week to take on Navy while Auburn stays at home to open SEC play vs. Mississippi State, a team that posted a 45-7 victory over Jackson State on Saturday.

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