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October 4, 2013

Tigers hope to turn things around on special day at Norris Field

(Continued)

Ada —

Defensively, Michael Hicks is the team's leading tackler with 34, 19 of those unassisted with 15 assists.

Linebackers have to alter receivers routes as they come through for a team to slow down its opponents passing game, but that was  something the Tigers did a poor job of against Henderson, according to their coach.

That leaves the tackling. Ironically, the special teams tackling that was so bad in the season opener with Arkansas Monticello, has improved in recent games. 

Penalties, for the first time, were below 100 yards and in fact the Tigers were whistled just five times for 39 yards yards last week, another huge improvements

Now it's the linebackers that need tinkering with, and the secondary, still talented, must do a better job of tackling. A group of redshirts was in over its head against Rodgers, who did in the Tigers for the third straight year.

McCarty is elated with his offensive line, a line that hasn't had a holding call penalty in the last three games.

Still, players are missing too many  details, and it's keeping the Tigers from reaching their potential, at least up to now, their coach says.

Snell had six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, plus 15 yards rushing, even though the Tigers were forced to the air most of the day after falling way behind in a 28-point second quarter explosion by the hosts.

Against one of the best Division II teams in America,  ECU quarterback Spencer Bond hit 26 or 48 passes for 335 yards and three touchdowns with one pick. Tiger receivers got high marks from McCarty in this one.

The Tigers may have had even more opportunities had Qumain Black, arguably the best athlete on this team, not been sidelined with a high ankle sprain. He's questionable again Saturday. 

James West, a true freshman, filled in and McCarty  said he did a good job.

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