AUBURN, Ala. — First and foremost, Rhett Lashlee was happy Auburn picked up a 45-41 win over Texas A&M on Saturday.
As for his unit specifically, the offensive coordinator was glad to see it respond to the challenge presented prior to kickoff: play Auburn football.
What does that mean, though?
“At receiver being more physical, attacking footballs, being physical with it after the catch,” he said. “(At) running back, run not to be tackled, protecting the football. Obviously at quarterback, finding a way to help your team win. On the O-line, dominating the line of scrimmage and when you turn on the film you see that.”
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And that’s exactly what he saw when he reviewed tape of the victory. The offensive line was “dominant” up front, Lashlee said, paving the way for the Tigers to register 615 yards of total offense, with 379 on the ground and 236 through the air.
Aside from a fumble by quarterback Nick Marshall, Lashlee said the backfield played well.
He left his highest praise for the receiving corps, which wasn’t fazed by some of the drops it had during the game.
More importantly, they played with a mean streak that Lashlee was delighted to see.
“What I loved the most was you got Ricardo (Louis) on a reverse (where) instead of going out of bounds, he sticks his head down and gets another eight yards,” Lashlee said. “You got Sammie Coates catching a hitch, turning it out for 10, then catching another one and throwing the DB aside and getting seven more yards. That mentality was what I was most proud of, because I felt like out of the gates we made sure they knew, ‘Hey, we’re here to play and we’re going to be the more physical team today.’ I felt like at the end of the day, in the fourth quarter, that’s when it paid off.”