First-Time Starter Looking for Improvement

Offensive right tackle Andrew McCain discusses his first collegiate start and the Auburn offense's opening night production.

Auburn, Ala.--One of seven Tigers making their first college start, fifth-year senior Andrew McCain says he had a lot of fun playing a major role in Auburn's 37-13 victory over Louisiana Tech to open the 2009 football season.

"It felt good," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I was a little nervous coming out, which I guess is to be expected, but I settled down through the first quarter and the first half and kind of got my feet under me.

"I tried not to think about it too much," the right tackle says. "I just went out and played. I have been practicing so long I know what to do and that is what I kept telling myself."

McCain helped the offense rack up 556 yards in the opener with 301 coming on the ground. The Tigers added 255 more yards with their passing attack.

"We had guys making great plays from the receiving corps to the running backs to Chris Todd at quarterback," says McCain. "It makes it a whole lot easier to do your job when you know if I make this block or if I protect the quarterback, he is going to do something big.

"It means a whole lot to see that many yards," McCain adds. "We are happy with it, but we are certainly not satisfied. We made a lot of mistakes, we made some holding calls and we jumped offsides one time. Those are the type of things we have got to eliminate. We didn't give up any sacks, but they got to Chris a couple of times and we can't have that. The sky is the limit if we keep working hard."

McCain and receivers Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachery made their first Auburn starts for the offense while on defense safety Daren Bates, tackles Nick Fairley and Jake Ricks plus linebacker Adam Herring cracked the starting lineup for the first time.

The Tigers will normally practice on Sundays after games, but had the day off with Monday being Labor Day and no classes. The Tigers are scheduled to hit the practice field at 8 p.m. as they begin preparations for Saturday's SEC home opener vs. Mississippi State, a team that opened the season with a 45-7 victory over Jackson State.

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