September 10, 2009 11:09:00 AM
Like Dan Mullen at Mississippi State, Auburn University football coach Gene Chizik sees room for improvement for his team from week one.
Chizik doesn''t know if the Tigers are ready to enter a Southeastern Conference game yet, but he''s anxious to find out how they play against the Bulldogs.
Chizik and Mullen, two of the SEC''s new coaches, will meet at 6 p.m. Saturday (FOX Sports Net South) at Auburn.
Despite his team''s 37-13 victory against Louisiana Tech in the season opener last Saturday, Chizik doesn''t want to be too optimistic.
"Things aren''t always as good as they seem and they aren''t always as bad as they seem," Chizik said. "When we look at the total execution of our football team, we''re not pleased with everything. There are some really bright spots, but we''ve got so much room for improvement as I''ve said over and over again. I''m real pleased to see our kids execute a high percentage of what we''re asking them to do. We''ve just got to go in and fine tune a lot of things."
Chizik, who was Auburn''s defensive coordinator from 2003-04, knows enough about offense to have some questions.
It''s hard to find much fault with an offense that piled up 556 yards of offense (the most for the Tigers since 2005) in its season opener.
Chizik wants the offense to be more crisp.
"We weren''t happy with the pace of our offense if you look at the overall concept of what we''re trying to do," Chizik said. "People can look at everything on paper and say, ''Wow, that''s a good deal,'' but the pace we really need to play with on this level week in and week out has got to be much faster.
"We''re just not pleased with that. We''ve worked hard the last two days to improve that the next two days. We know the pace isn''t acceptable."
Chizik said it''s premature to get too excited about the 148-yard rushing performance of SEC Freshman of the Week Onterio McCalebb.
"We''ll see if he can do it for two or three more games," Chizik said.
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