“I think we still can improve on things,” Diamond tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. “We haven’t got to that point right now where we want to be and we have still got some goals that we are trying to achieve. I think we have got a lot more work to do, but I think we have come a long way since the first game. We have gelled together a little bit more and we have got a lot more confidence.”
The Tigers, who are 3-1 overall, face a 1-2 Syracuse team on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Kickoff is set for shortly after 8 p.m. for a game being televised on ESPN2. Diamond says that fans who watched Auburn get whipped 31-14 by the Orangemen last September at the Carrier Dome will see a more potent Auburn offense under the direction of new offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino.
“I think we are going out and playing our style of football,” the senior tight end says. “We have a lot of confidence in Coach Petrino and he has a lot of confidence in us.”
Lorenzo Diamond (49) is one of the most experienced players on the Auburn football team.
Diamond says the loss at Syracuse was a rough one to take at the end of an odd two weeks of game inactivity. The LSU game, which was scheduled the week before the trip to Syracuse, was postponed after the 911 terrorism attacks. There was also concern in the Auburn camp that something would happen to call off the trip to upstate New York to face the Orangemen.
“The biggest thing I remember is the emotional toll that it took on everybody,” Diamond says of last year’s Syracuse game week. “On the field they really took advantage of some of the things that we did on offense and some of the things we did on defense. They exploited them and we weren’t able to come back.”
Diamond says the Tigers expected to return home from Syracuse with a victory under their belt. “We did expect to win that game,” he remembers. “You know, we didn’t think that they were going to be as tough as they were. We were thinking that we were from the SEC, we were the powerhouse and we were going to go up there and show those guys how to play football, but they ended up showing us. They took it to us pretty good. Basically, they were more physical than us.They did the things they needed to do to win.”
The Tiger senior predicts that Syracuse will try that same approach. “They like to hit you in the mouth and run the ball down your throat.”