October 16, 2012

NOTEBOOK: VanGorder doesn't sense frustration

AUBURN -- The Tigers' disappointing season has challenged players in ways they never expected after winning a national championship two years ago.

Still, they're not letting the struggles affect their work.

Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder said Tuesday that he's satisfied with how the Tigers have responded to what has become a shocking season on the Plains. Everything he sees in practice projects confidence and faith in future successes.

"Our responsibility is to keep the mission clear and the methods to that mission. They've done a good job, I think, of following that message," VanGorder said. "We've had good body language. We've had very few practices when I came off the field and felt like the body language and spirit wasn't above average. The bottom line is that we need to go out and finish a game, win a game."

Defensive tackle Gabe Wright echoed those sentiments and said the Tigers were "hitting on all cylinders" during practice Tuesday night. He said players often talk about the dismal start to their season, but remain convinced that better days are ahead.

"Nobody's fine with being 1-5, let's face it. But we're not the first to do it," Wright said. "Teams have prevailed later on and its one of those things you've got to fight through. I'm telling you, there's no quit in this team. We looked at the fourth-quarter stats today. Its funny. One we're tied up, one we're down by four and one we're down by three. Its a shame we couldn't finish these games because it could be a totally different season with two or three plays a game."

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