Auburn, Ala.—Through five games of the 2012 season, the Auburn offense has been about as bad as you can get from a production standpoint in coach Scot Loeffler's first season as coordinator. Averaging just 15.4 points per game and 302.4 yards of total offense, the Tigers have struggled in just about every aspect of the game this season.
The biggest culprit has been turnovers. In 305 plays this season Auburn has turned the ball over 17 times, an average of one turnover every 17.9 plays. Throw in negative yardage plays due to sacks and penalties and it’s clear why the Tigers are 1-4.
With the rough start in mind, Auburn’s players had a meeting on Sunday to do some soul searching about the rest of the season. One of the leaders of the meeting was senior running back Onterio McCalebb. One of Auburn’s offensive captains, he said this team just has to put all its focus on getting a win this week.
“We had a meeting and went out and had a good practice (on Sunday),” McCalebb said. “Everybody on the team didn’t like what happened on Saturday. We just have to move on from that. We can’t dwell on that loss. We have to move on to the next team and get ready for Ole Miss on Saturday.”
A lack of consistency across the board has been one of the biggest causes of concern on offense. Whether it’s lost yardage on running plays, blown assignments by the offensive line, or mistakes by the quarterbacks, Auburn has seen its share of problems across the board. McCalebb said it’s a matter of guys doing their jobs.
“We’ve got to come together,” McCalebb said. “You just can’t blame it on one person. Whatever plays coach Loeffler calls we’ve got to go out there and execute to the best of our ability.
“Everybody has to do their job,” he added. “You can’t go out there and worry about another person’s job. I think if we do that we’ll have an excellent game.”
With seniors such as McCalebb, Philip Lutzenkirchen and Emory Blake, Auburn’s offense has the guys in place to provide the right kind of leadership down the stretch for the offense. While the young players on the team have several more years to come back from a less than ideal season, for the seniors it’s their last opportunity to leave a positive legacy at Auburn and McCalebb said that’s a big deal to them.
“As a senior and a captain on offense and somebody people look up to, if I hear something I’ll say something to them,” McCalebb said. “Everybody just has to stick together because our season isn’t over. We still have seven more games. We have to stay together and try to win all of our games this year.”
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