December 28, 2006

Cotton Bowl Notebook: Offense ready to roll

After finishing atop the SEC standings in offense his first two years, Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges has seen his group ranked in the middle of the pack in 2006.

Much of the dropoff can be contributed to injuries, some season ending and others that have kept key players like quarterback Brandon Cox, tailback Kenny Irons and wide receiver Courtney Taylor banged up for most of the year.

But with so much time off since AU's last game - a win over Alabama on Nov. 18 - Borges will have a much healthier and fresher unit to work with in the Cotton Bowl.

"When you have a 120-day stretch with no reprieve and you get a month off, it helps so much," said Borges. "Cox and Kenny, Courtney, all the kids -- the cast of characters is pretty long - are all feeling so much better now. Hopefully it will show when we play."

Irons could benefit the most from being at full speed for the first time since the opener against Washington State. The senior has carried the ball over 20 times just once in the last six games but that could change Monday against Nebraska.

"We can feed the ball to Kenny a little more now," said Borges. "Last year, he had some 30-carry games. I don't know if he's had one this year. If he'll hold up, we'll give him the ball. We won't be shy about that."

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