AUBURN | There was never any doubt what Auburn’s coaching staff would put a special emphasis on during Sunday’s practice, at least on the offensive side of the ball.
The 15th-ranked Tigers had five turnovers in a 24-10 win over Mercer last Saturday. A stretch seven-straight SEC games begins this Saturday at Missouri.
“Offensively, we haven't played our best yet for sure,” offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey said. “I thought we did some good things at times. Our execution obviously wasn't what we want to be at, and the five turnovers really is the big thing. For us, you can't win in this league for sure by turning the ball over that many times.
“That's a point of emphasis for us. It started tonight with our practice, just trying to do everything we can do to not ever let that happen again. I think that limited our scoring opportunities, obviously. We had a chance to score some points. That was disappointing.”
Wide receiver Kyle Davis fumbled on Auburn’s opening drive of the game and then in the second quarter, Eli Stove and Kamryn Pettway fumbled on consecutive drives.
Ryan Davis fumbled on a punt return after the defense forced a 3-and-out on the opening series of the third quarter and Jarrett Stidham was intercepted later in the third on a pass Lindsey said Nate Craig-Myers needed to attack the ball more.
Auburn will add more drills on ball security to practices this week.
“I just think you try to make an emphasis of it. Every day, every snap, which we felt like we had done, really, to be honest with you,” Lindsey said. “If you look back at how they happen, they were in traffic where guys were making catches — two of them for sure — where they were kind of spinning and not protecting it all the way to the ground. That's definitely something we've got to do.
“We have different ways to do that with ball bands and all kinds of stuff like that. I think at the end of the day, we've just got to emphasize it. Our guys have to take pride in never losing the ball. We'll definitely make that point.”