Overcorrection and overthinking can be dangerous to a players’ psyche if it sets in and messes with their head, regardless of the sport at hand. That’s one thing that Shaun Shivers told the media that he’s not going to worry about on Saturday after missing a few should-be-caught balls in the Tigers’ last match.
“I don’t feel like there’s a sense of urgency because I know once I get the ball in my hands I know that I’m gonna do something with it each opportunity like I said," Shivers said. "I’m not so caught up in urgency or you ‘gotta do this’ — nah. That’s gonna put too much on me as a player. I just wanna go out there and help my team win.”
A topic of discussion has been the splitting of the few in-game reps that Auburn’s running back room had against the Bulldogs on Saturday. When asked about his high number of reps in the game compared to the other backs, Shivers made it clear that how many snaps he gets in the backfield isn’t something that he’s gonna harp on, so long as the Tigers’ offense do their jobs.
“It doesn’t matter how many carries I get because I know I’m gonna have the opportunity to catch a football out of the back field and do my thing from there," Shivers said. "So I’m not really worried about how many carries I get. I’m just worried about the opportunity that I have, opportunities that I get from the coaches to do whatever they want me to do. That‘s what I’ll do, and I do it.”
Shivers and the rest of the Auburn team have already scouted the Razorbacks and have seen how physical they can be on defense. At that, he mentions the team’s willingness to get back to hard-nosed football, the kind of ball they came to the Plains to play.
“Well I think, Arkansas’ defense, they play pretty good," Shivers said. "They're physical up front. They just play hard and they play fast. It doesn’t matter who they’re playing, they’re gonna play disruptive. They’re gonna play fast and physical and it’s gonna be key for us just to get out there and to protect the football. Run hard and just do things we do here at Auburn.”
When asked about what the offensive is doing well or improving on this week, physicality up front is something that Shivers thinks the team is making a focal point of. Right guard Keiondre Jones shared the same sentiment for the line on Tuesday, as the Tigers’ run game strives for a positive week in Fayetteville.
“We keep getting stronger each and every week," Shivers said. "I know the problem with lack of focus, with catching the football but with the run game, I don’t think that’s a problem. We just haven’t really got in a groove yet. Its gonna come for us…It’s gonna be our time just to pound the football every down like we want to.”
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Larry is a senior studying journalism with a minor in sociology. He is from Enterprise, Alabama and is in his third year with The Auburn Plainsman.