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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tigers' tackling problems persist

I wrote a story for today's newspaper about Auburn's season-long tackling problems. Here's how it starts:

AUBURN, Ala. — Three Auburn players had Arkansas kick returner Dennis Johnson dead to rights.

But the elusive sophomore hit the brakes on a third quarter return last Saturday as all three Tigers overpursued. He cut back to the middle before darting upfield, slipping through a feeble arm tackle and racing down the sideline for a 70-yard return.

The play not only halted Auburn’s brief seizure of momentum, it epitomized the Tigers’ season-long inability to get the ballcarrier to the ground.

“We’re getting them in the positions. We’ve just got to bring these guys down,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “That’s been kind of our Achilles’ heel at this point.”

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