|Tuberville: Auburn still searching for answers|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 05 October 2008 14:30|
The Tigers lost to Vanderbilt for the first time since 1955, have already dropped two Southeastern Conference games and the offense is showing few signs of breaking out of its struggles.
``We're pretty down right now,'' center Ryan Pugh said Sunday. ``It's a loss to Vanderbilt. I don't remember the last time I saw a team at Auburn get beat by Vanderbilt, probably because I wasn't alive.
``It's disappointing. You feel a little embarrassed after the game the way you played.''
The Tigers' 14-13 loss to the Commodores Saturday came largely courtesy of a missed extra point and an offense that produced just 82 yards and six first downs over the final three quarters.
It was bad enough that tailback Ben Tate didn't mince words on the offense, which is ranked 104th nationally in total yards.
ntity,'' said Tate, who ran for 108 yards. ``As an offense, to be truthful, we're just awful. There's no other way to put it. Your numbers don't lie. When you look at yourself on film, that doesn't lie either. Other teams are probably just licking their chops. We're just not good on offense right now. We just have to find a way to get better.''
The Tigers (4-2, 2-2) also are facing an assortment of injury problems leading up to the Arkansas game.
Coach Tommy Tuberville said defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (ankle) and cornerback Jerraud Powers (hamstring) are both listed as day-to-day. Powers didn't play in the second half against Vandy.
Receiver Robert Dunn didn't make the trip because of an ankle injury, Tuberville said. Defensive end Antonio Coleman was limited by a pulled leg muscle and linebacker Craig Stevens has a nagging turf toe injury. Tailback Brad Lester returned after missing the Tennessee game with a sprained knee, but wasn't full speed and had only two carries.
The Tigers were limited to 208 yards, more than half of it in the first quarter. It left Tuberville shooting down Internet rumors about offensive coordinator Tony Franklin.
He said Franklin will still be the playcaller and his role won't change. There also is no third candidate at quarterback with Kodi Burns and Chris Todd still vying for the starting job, Tuberville said.
spot, passed for 70 yards and two touchdowns but threw an interception on the first play of Auburn's final possession and was sacked four times. Burns was 2-for-6 for 28 yards.
Tuberville said the coaches spent several hours early Sunday morning reviewing film of the offense from all six games searching for answers. Players had said after the game the coaches had promised changes to the offense, but Tuberville declined to elaborate.
``There's no panic,'' he said. ``We've just got to look ourselves in the eye, all of us not just Tony. We've got to find ways to score more points and win games.''
Franklin was not made available to the media Sunday, but Tuberville stuck up for his first-year coordinator and his spread offense.
``I think Tony's done a good job of adjusting,'' he said. ``I don't know if we've done a good job of adjusting to what we've gone to. He's worked harder than anybody here. He's as disappointed as anybody here, and he probably takes more blame than he should.''