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Saturday, September 19, 2009
Buying what the Tigers are selling

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low


AUBURN, Ala. –- Everybody has a theory about Auburn’s hot start this season.

But as the Tigers try to make it 3-0 on Saturday night against West Virginia, senior running back Ben Tate said it’s pretty simple what the difference is on the Plains.

“When everyone buys in, it makes a huge difference,” Tate said. “We didn’t have that last year. If you sit back and look at it, it’s pretty much the same team from last year. We just have a different philosophy this year. Everybody believes in what we’re doing. The coaches believe in us, and they’re pushing us a lot harder.”

Tate was like everybody else when he initially heard that offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn ran a spread offense.

It might be a variation of a spread, but it all starts with running the football.

“It’s very refreshing to be in an offense like this,” Tate said. “Coach Malzahn is a very smart guy and is constantly trying to find ways to get an edge. With his offense, it’s different because it’s a spread, but it’s still that downhill running attack and being physical that I was used to when I first got here. And then we kind of got away from it. But that’s the type of runner I am, north and south and then hit the cutback lanes and make the guy miss.”