Stafford, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, rushed for 83 yards against Auburn and on more than one occasion put his head down and took on a tackler rather than slide. After his second fumble of the game, Stafford got an earful from quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo over the phone line to the coaching booth, but Bobo didn't tell him he had to start sliding, Stafford said.
Stafford eventually did take a knee in the third quarter, but that won't become a habit, he said.
"That's the first time I've ever slid in my career, ever, and I wasn't really trying to do that to stay away from anybody," he said. "I was just trying to stay in bounds and keep the clock rolling. I think I can take on tacklers. I'm a pretty big guy, but it'd probably be smart to start sliding every once in a while."
Sophomore wide receiver Kenneth Harris hates to see the team's quarterback of the future take so many hits, he said.
"He's a physical quarterback, and he feels like he can get more yards," Harris said. "I would like to see him slide a little more, just for his sake, but I guess he's doing what he has to do. I know there have been a couple times I've seen him take some hits to the head or get his leg rolled up on, but he keeps fighting and he keeps getting back up."