September 14, 2009

Auburn's OL paving the way to success

Gene Chizik was reluctant to heap praise on any individual players following Saturday's trouncing of Mississippi State.

But Auburn's head coach did have praise for one particular position. A position that often goes unnoticed until they make a mistake.

"I thought our offensive line played well together as a whole group," Chizik said. "I thought they played really, really well. I think they're getting it.

"They just have to keep coming along and playing and they got to keep playing physical."

It's becoming hard not to notice the offensive line's play with Auburn averaging an impressive 345.5 rushing yards per game, second only to Air Force's 367.5.

Ben Tate, who leads the SEC in rushing, had a career-high 157 yards against MSU while Onterio McCalebb is the first AU freshman to rush for over 100 yards in each of the first two games.

And it's Auburn's veteran offensive line, which includes juniors Lee Ziemba, Byron Isom, Ryan Pugh and Mike Berry, and a senior Andrew McCain, that's opening up big holes for those backs to run through.

"The offensive line is playing great," Tate said.

Tate credited Berry for springing him on a 35-yard touchdown run in third quarter that gave AU a comfortable 42-17 lead over MSU.

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