Sunday Chizik Notes And Quotes

Auburn Coach Gene Chizik talks about the loss to Kentucky and problems on both offense and defense.

*With the Tigers now over halfway through the regular season it has given teams a chance to look at and study Auburn's offense and personnel. That could be one of the reasons why Auburn has had its two worst games of the season the last two weeks. Chizik said that could be one of the reasons, but it also comes down to execution.

"At this point in the season they have seen pretty much the gamut from us offensively and defensively," Chizik said. "It becomes at this point in the season how well you're executing. There is really no secrets. You can throw in some change ups here and there, but at the end of the day it's really how you execute. At times we executed well last night. We had our chances to win the game, but we didn't finish."

*One of the biggest problems on the night for Auburn was penalties. The Tigers finished the night with 10 and many came in key situations with the offense driving. Chizik said it's hard to explain what went wrong or why.

"On one particular drive I know we had at least four for sure, from some of our most reliable guys," Chizik said. "It was a point in the game where we didn't execute. We had our chances. We moved the ball. We had chances to go up two touchdowns with a couple of drives we had going and we killed the drives for whatever the reason. Then we had a couple of missed tackles when they got the ball back that put us in a hole and we didn't recover."

*Missed tackles have been a concern all season for the Tigers on defense. Saturday night the defense has one of its best three quarters of play all season before collapsing in the fourth. A lack of depth at several key spots can't help things with one of those spots at linebacker. Sophomore Eltoro Freeman was back in uniform Saturday night, but didn't help on defense. Chizik said there are reasons why he's still not able to play as much for Coach Ted Roof as they would like.

"He's got to work towards getting a better grasp of what's happening," Chizik said. "He missed a lot of football through two-a-days and the beginning of the season. He's just got to get caught up.

"It's very important for him to do that," he added. "He's willing to do it. He's just got to stay healthy and be out there long enough to really make some strides. When he does that he'll help our football team."

*Quarterback Chris Todd hasn't played well the last two weeks for the Tigers and that has contributed to the entire offense not clicking on all cylinders. Another way to look at it is that the offense hasn't played well and that has contributed to Todd's erratic performance. Chizik said while there have been some problems, there is no question that Todd is their guy at quarterback.

"We've named our starting quarterback," Chizik said. "We've also seen him play very well. We've got to continue to get better. It's not just Chris, it's our whole team. It's our offensive line at times. Nobody sees that. It's our wideouts blocking on the perimeter. Nobody sees that. It's all that. We've got to get better.

"I don't think there is any confidence issue (with Todd)," he added. "I don't get that feeling at all. He knows he has to play better. So do our tailbacks and fullbacks and offensive linemen and wideouts, and our db's. I can go down the line. They all know they need to play better."

Auburn picked up another verbal commitment on Sunday as Valdosta (Ga.) offensive lineman Ed Christian picked the Tigers over Florida State, Tennessee and several other schools. A former commitment to the Seminoles, he's a dominating blocker that could play any of the five spots up front for the Tigers because of his athleticism.

Christian becomes another big pick up for Auburn for the 2010 class as things continue to round into shape. Still looking for help at several key spots, Chizik said at the moment recruiting is going very well.

"I feel great about it," Chizik said. "We've got a good idea of where we need to be. I think we're steadily working in that direction. It's going great."

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