The Auburn defensive ends coach says he likes the way the Tigers hung tough when the game was on the line in final minutes at Florida Field against a team ranked third and fourth nationally in the major polls last week.
The Tigers had to put the brakes on a Florida team that had the momentum clearly in its favor in the final quarter after rallying from a 17-3 deficit. However, the the visiting Tigers made big plays in the clutch both offensively and defensively as well as in the kicking game to pull out a 20-17 victory over the Gators.
Price says he believes the experience will help an Auburn team counting heavily on freshmen and sophomores grow as the Tigers approach the middle part of the 2007 schedule as they prepare for game six this Saturday vs. visiting Vanderbilt.
"We have a few seniors, but we have got a lot of young players," Price notes. "Having a chance to win a game in a hostile environment like that on the road is big, I think. It helps our team grow up, it helps our young players grow up.
"Our young players won't face a more hostile environment on the road than that one right there so it is good for them all to get experience in that kind of environment," the coach adds. "They will grow up and it will pay off for us down the road because we will have a lot more stadiums like that we are going to that will be just as hostile."
Florida coach Urban Meyer said one of the keys to Auburn's second straight victory over the Gators was the inability of the UF offensive line to consistently block Auburn's defensive front.
"The kids played hard," Price says. "We knew going into the game you have got to stop the run to win against those guys whether it is the quarterback runs or the tailback runs. That is the key against those guys. We made it a goal and we knew if we achieved that goal we would win."
Terry Price (right) coaches Antoine Carter during two-a-days in August. He is expected to see more playing time this week.
The youth movement will be accelerated this week at defensive end with Price's most experienced player, fifth-year senior Quentin Groves, recovering from dislocating three toes vs. the Gators. Price is preparing Antoine Carter to take a larger role on the defensive front.
"He will have to step up and play a lot more snaps," Price says of the true freshman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "The good thing about it is that he has played in pretty much every game and continues to work at it. Obviously, as a redshirt freshman he has a lot of work to do. As a backup, you have got to be ready when your name is called."
Carter and the rest of the defensive ends will be called on to win another football game this Saturday as Vanderbilt brings a 3-1 record to Jordan-Hare Stadium for an 11:30 a.m. kickoff vs. the 3-2 Tigers. The game will be televised regionally on LFS.