Auburn’s 2012 campaign did not begin as planned. The season-opening loss left Tigers fans, players and coaches with a sour taste in their mouths.
After taking two days to process the ups and downs of the Clemson game, Auburn players are preaching an optimistic message, instead of a somber one.
In an interview with auburnsports.com, sophomore quarterback Kiehl Frazier made it clear that he expects an improved team to take the field against Mississippi State in Week 2.
According to Frazier, “the biggest jump (in production) comes between the first and second games.”
Last season, this idea proved true, as Auburn’s total offensive production increased in the second game—including a rushing output that was 157 yards higher than the Week 1 total.
For Auburn to be successful in Week 2 this year, the Tigers' defense must make big jumps too.
Auburn defensive tackle, Jeff Whitaker, says though the Tigers made mistakes against Clemson, everything is “fixable.” Whitaker went on to cite “missed tackles” as the most pressing problem plaguing the Tigers’ D.
Though the Tigers had trouble bringing down ball-carriers, they did not lack effort.
Whitaker said he and his teammates “played hard, they just didn’t get the job done.”
In addition to the defense’s great effort, the Auburn offensive line also opened some eyes with their tough play.
This workmen-like offensive line featured two freshmen, including Avery Young—a tackle who now feels he has the “ability to hold up against a lot of guys in [the SEC].”
After watching film with his coaches, Young said he had “very, very few minuses (negative plays)” in the opening matchup, and thinks the few mistakes he made are all “small things that [he] can fix.”
Auburn will undoubtedly need Young—and a number of others—to fix their mistakes soon, as the Tigers prepare to travel to Starkville where they will take on a Mississippi State team that won its opening matchup 56-9.
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