November 3, 2008

Auburn runnin' on empty

Auburn has one of the nation’s most storied running back traditions, which used to create fear in opponents.

Not anymore.

Auburn is ranked 7th in the SEC and 79th nationally in rushing offense. Leading rusher Ben Tate is averaging just 63.7 yards per game, a far cry from the days of Rudi Johnson, Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown and Kenny Irons running roughshod over the conference.

“We're just not physical enough,” AU head coach Tommy Tuberville said. “Our running backs, we're not hitting the holes north and south. We're running too much lateral. Just little things like that are hurting us.

“We don't have the one guy at running back that we know we can call his number and they're going to do the perfect thing, like we have in the past.”

Tuberville was hoping to energize Auburn’s running game after the firing of offensive coordinator Tony Franklin and a return to more power football. Instead, AU’s ground attack has gotten worse.

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