Coach Dooley said the main story of the game was Auburn's ability to run the ball on offense and stop the run on defense. "At the end of the day, they whipped us at both lines of scrimmage," explained Dooley, "and generally when that happens, all the plays, they don't matter."
The Bulldogs had oppurtunities to get back in the game, but couldn't make a play when it was needed. "In the second hald, we had two or three oppurtunities early to go ahead," said Dooley. "We had the ball at the 35 and threw the interception, but we were still down three. Then we gave up the big play to go down ten. what I was disappointed in at that point was we got affected (by the crowd.) We didn't answer the bell on offense. We had a couple of three and outs after that, but it we scrapped a little bit and it was a ten point game again going into the fourth quarter."
Auburn was able to finish the game off by scoring two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Chris Todd was able to make the big plays in the second half to win the game for the Tigers. While Todd's touchdown passes put the game out of reach, it was the Auburn rushing attack that was the difference in the game. Onterrio McCaleb rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown and Ben Tate also broke the 100 yard mark as the Tigers totaled over 33 yards on the ground. McCaleb was able to get to the corner almost every time he touched the ball. The true freshman's speed just simply could not be contained.
While Louisiana Tech's linebackers had a hard time chasing McCaleb to either sideline, Mobile native Adrien Cole did lead the Bulldogs in tackles with ten. The Tech defense will have a different challenge this week at Navy.
Navy has had six straight seasons of eight wins or more. They have led the nation in rushing for the past four years.
Navy averages just 265 pounds on the offensive line so they won't overpower the Bulldog defense like Auburn. However, Navy will be unlike any offense Tech will see this year. The Bulldogs will have to be ready.
"They run the spread option probably better than anybody in the country," added Dooley. "They've got a great quarterback, a lot of continuity in that offense, and it's like a surgeon."
If the Bulldog defense doesn't want to get carved up by Navy, they will have to contain quarterback Ricky Dobbs. Dobbs accounted for 239 of Navy's 342 yards in a 31-27 loss at third ranked Ohio State. Navy held the ball for over 29 minutes and matched Ohio State with 19 first downs. Dobbs threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others. Marcus Curry caught both touchdown passes including one for over 80 yards. A big problem defenses have with Navy is so much focus goes into stopping the run that big pass plays can change the game at any moment.
Tech will look to have more success against the run this week and also get their own rushing attack off the ground. Daniel Porter had 56 yards at Auburn, but the Tigers held him in check for most of the first three quarters. Ross Jenkins completed his first ten passes last week, but the passing game struggled in the second half when Auburn brought more pressure.
Look for Louisiana Tech to have more success in the run game on both sides this week against Navy. Big plays will once again have a big impact on this game, but it will be decided in the trenches.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 central time.