VanGorder Seeing Signs Of Progress

Brian VanGorder

Comments from Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder are featured in this update on the Tigers as they returned to the practice field.

Auburn, Ala.--Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder said he liked what he saw at Tuesday night's Auburn football practice as the Tigers began putting in the game plan for Saturday's road trip to Ole Miss.

"I thought it was a good practice," the coach said. "The guys are dialed in and working hard. They have been pretty consistent that way."

After grading video of the defensive performance in Auburn's 24-7 loss to Arkansas, the coordinator said he saw signs of improvement "in some areas," but not enough. "The line of consistency just isn't there through an entire game," he noted. "To be really great that mark of consistency has to be present. It is just not quite there now.

"In that game I think you have to give Arkansas some credit," VanGorder said. "We had momentum defensively, we had a number of third down stops consecutively, and they came up with a couple of gadget plays that really changed the momentum of the game."

Ole Miss runs a fast-paced offense, the third one the Tigers have faced this year. Clemson ran that style and so did ULM. He said that it helps to have played against it this year, but added, "It is a difficult thing. I don't think you can do it in practice with the scout team. Hopefully, the experience with Clemson and Monroe in no huddle situations has helped us."

Asked what he thought about comments from players on the team saying that there isn't enough leadership from other players on the team, VanGorder responded by saying, "To me they are just young and they have got a lot to learn. One of the things is probably not to say a lot. That is probably the wisest way to go.

"I don't listen to the noise outside," he added. "I am too busy to do that and I encourage them to go about their business the same way. That is the only way you can stay dialed in and stay on point."

Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler noted that junior Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley split the first team reps at quarterback at Tuesday evening's practice. The coach said he is not ready to decide who will start, but will soon make a decision on that. "It will not be a game-time decision, for sure," he added.

After grading video of last Saturday's game, the offensive coordinator said that he saw improvement from Frazier, who just played in the first half. "I thought he made much bigger strides than what the results appeared," he said.

Kiehl Frazier

Earlier in the day wide receiver Sammie Coates said the leadership from the quarterbacks needs to improve. Asked about that after Tuesday night's practice, Loeffler said, "We are young right now at that position. Those guys, every day, are developing at that area, but to say that you hear the noise about leadership...I just know that our guys are going out every day at all positions, not just the quarterback position, and busting their tail."

The offensive coordinator added that he doesn't "really get wrapped up in" who said what. "At the end of the day we are just going to keep to the grind and stay away from the noise."

Head Coach Gene Chizik said that he was going to be spending a lot of time with the offense this week making sure the Tigers become more effective running the football. Loeffler, who said that Chizik is always involved the offense, defense and special teams planning, said this week has been the same as other weeks. He also said he is on the same page with the head coach about where the offense needs to do to improve.

"We have tried a lot of different things," Loeffler said. "We have got to definitely make sure we narrow it down to exactly who we are. Who we are is this: we have got to run the football and we want to be a play-action team that has the ability to take shots down the field."

Road Trip, Part 1: Kickoff is set for 11:21 a.m. on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. Radio coverage is available on The Auburn Network and on Sirius channel 137 and XM channel 199. The following Saturday the Tigers will be in Nashville for another morning kickoff as they play the Vanderbilt Commodores. That game will also be on the SEC Network.

Tigers Vs. Rebels, Part 1: Gene Chizik is 3-0 vs. Ole Miss as Auburn's head coach. In those matchups the Tigers have outscored the Rebels 125-71. The Tigers won last year's game 41-23. Auburn has an all-time record of 27-9 in games vs. Rebels and is 9-2 on previous trips to Oxford.

Tigers Vs. Rebels, Part 2: Auburn has won eight of its last 10 games vs. Ole Miss.

Stumbling And Fumbling: The Tigers have been plagued by fumbles and interceptions during their 1-4 start and are last in the SEC in turnover margin at minus 2.20 per contest. Auburn has lost seven fumbles and thrown 10 interceptions. The Tigers will look to reverse that 2012 trend this Saturday. In the last three games vs. the Rebels the Tigers have not thrown an interception.

T'Sharvan Bell

T-Bell: VanGorder had praise for cornerback T'Sharvan Bell after Tuesday night's practice, noting the senior could see more playing time this week with Chris Davis questionable after being injured vs. Arkansas. "He shows up every day with a great spirit, and he represents everything we really want and look for in an Auburn player."

Praise For An Opposing Player: VanGorder said that Ole Miss receiver Donte Moncrief is an impressive receiver. He is averaging 75.5 receiving yards per contest and has five TD receptions.

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