Speedy McCalebb Ready To Run

Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb talks about his injury and his status for Tennessee.

Auburn, Ala.--One of the main weapons this season for the Auburn Tigers has been freshman running back Onterio McCalebb. With 365 rushing yards and three touchdowns in four games, he's been the home run threat the Tigers were hoping to see on offense in 2009.

Saturday night though McCalebb went down in the second quarter on a fake punt attempt and had to be helped off the field with a tweaked ankle. That left much of the work up to Ben Tate and took away some of the speed for Auburn's offense. While his status remains a question mark heading into this weekend against Tennessee according to Coach Gene Chizik, as far as McCalebb is concerned there is no question where he will be.

"I feel a lot better," McCalebb said. "Everything is going all right. I'll be ready to play on Saturday. When it first happened I was a little scared. I had a sharp pain, but once we started doing treatments, I'll be good for Saturday."

Things looked good early for McCalebb as he busted loose for a 62-yard run against the Cardinals only to be caught at the goal line and denied a touchdown. Although he ran over for the score on the next play, McCalebb said he felt like he got in for the score the first time.

"When the first guy came at me and I cut I tried to get back on track," McCalebb said. "For some reason I looked up at the jumbotron and I see him coming. I tried to kick it into another gear, but by that time I felt him on me. I think I scored on the play anyway. I never touched the ground and rolled on top of him, but we came back and scored on the next play."

McCalebb is part of an Auburn rushing attack that enters week five averaging 261.2 yards per game on the ground. To put the rushing numbers in context, last season the Tigers ran for a grand total of 1,650 yards and 12 touchdowns. In just five games Auburn has already amassed 1,045 yards and nine rushing scores.

While there are many reasons for that increase including offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, perhaps the biggest reason for success has been the play of the offensive line said McCalebb.

"Without my offensive linemen I wouldn't be able to do the things I do," McCalebb said. "I give all the credit to my offensive linemen. They go out there every day in practice and in the game and fight their tails off."

After four consecutive home games, it will be the first chance for the Tigers to take their show on the road. They'll do it in front of the biggest crowd in the country, 110,000 at Neyland Stadium. McCalebb said he and the team will go into it like any other game and just try to continue to play the way they've done all year.

"It's not going to be too different," McCalebb said. "I still have to say humble and play to the best of my ability. I'm just going to go out there and do what I do.

"I'm excited, but at the end of the day it's just another game for me," he added. "I just have to go out there and do what I have to do."


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