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Gene Chizik speaks, 10/11

Here are some comments from The Head Coach, who held his weekly Sunday powwow moments ago.

  • On the game: ``We didn't make any improvements Saturday. Anywhere. We were por all the way around. You can't have eight penalties and three turnovers on the road -- and win."

  • On practice last week, which some players said was unusually sloppy: ``I just felt like the focus of our team was out there. I didn't think we were focused on the details of the game. I told them that on Thursday. I feel like we played that way."

  • On getting a young team turned around after (edited for politeness) a difficult performance: ``I haven't been through a week where we've lost yet. There are many things we can take from this thing and be a better football team. We're at a point in the season where depth is an issue. We're banged up. These aren't excuses. This is what you're asking. At 5-0, I don't know that we handled all the outside stuff. As coaches, we're supposed to get them ready to play. And they weren't."

  • On Auburn having a lot of trouble with Arkansas in general: ``As history would have it, there seems to be some kind of pattern. I just don't believe in that. I don't think their record, I'm talking about this year, was necessarily indicative of their team."

  • On good things distilled from Saturday's (edited for politeness) difficult outing: ``There are some things that happene din the game that were good. We rushed for 240-something yards. Our third-down defense was better than it's typically been. The outcome was very disappointing."

  • On defensive problems: ``Right now, run defense is an issue. It's only going to get tougher. We've got to shore that up. We're not anywhere close to where we need to be in this league right. We need to be better tacklers."

  • On if he'll get more involved with the defensive game plan: ``I know what we're doing. We have some really good defensive coaches."

  • More on the defense (edited for politeness) not playing as well as perhaps it did in holding Arkansas to a single touchdown two years ago: ``We played 80-something plays. Right now, we need to avoid that situation."

  • On Walt McFadden's injury: ``We don't think it's anything catastrophic."

  • On Craig Stevens: ``He's stacking up the tackles, but that's because we're on the field so much. We'd love to give those guys a rest. That's just where we're at."

  • On playing so many walk-on guys on the scout team: ``We've got to make it work if we're playing against air. Sometimes you have to throw a scout-team tight end at guard. That's not an excuse. That's not why we lost Saturday."

  • He said Harris Gaston is "dinged up". Gaston hasn't been playing.

  • He said Jonathan Evans hasn't been playing much defense and ``needs to come on."

  • On Harry Adams' play Saturday: ``About like the rest of them. Average at best."

  • On Darvin Adams' and Terrell Zachery's recent struggles: ``(Defenses) are more aware of where they're at than they were. They've gotten a lot of people's attention."

  • He again described Eltoro Freeman's situation as "day by day" and a personal situation. (I asked Chizik if he expected Freeman back today.)

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at


Blogger JgobravesHAG said...

Even though I'm first we still lost

5:18 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

I wouldn't delete my comment.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

You're a man of class.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

Indeed I am sir. I can empathize with your travel difficulties, I've certainly been there.

Now, on to Kentucky.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Frame said...

It would be nice to have Patrick Trahan about now.

We're going to have to score a lot of points every week, to stay in games.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good questions and responses. At least he's owning up to it and not comparing it to Pearl Harbor or WWIII in the future or some nonsense.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

I'm not going back, and reading the threads from Saturday and today. If you posted something good, please repost

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This one is for all including the Fearless Leader:

Top 5 Heisman Candidates as of today?

5:34 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

We Slept Walked is the only substance I had Peter.

5:34 PM  
Blogger wes said...

we were better on 3rd down? didn't look at the stats, but it didn't feel that way.

5:40 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Sensi, still way too early in my opinion, but 3 best I've seen are Tebow, Jacory Harris, and A.J. Green.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

Not many comments coming by off a lose.... I can understand....

5:49 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

PF - they were all good. Head on back to the previous thread. We'll be here waiting on you.

5:49 PM  
Blogger wtc said...

Tebow is 1 and then everyone else.

If he finishes as is, he gets it for the gutty performance alone.

5:50 PM  
Blogger wtc said...

Three of Auburn's last four opponents have had at least 400 yards of offense.

Not a good sign.

5:52 PM  
Blogger wtc said...

Auburn dressed out only four scholarship linebackers Saturday.

Another bad sign

5:53 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Tim Tebow is a man.

5:53 PM  
Blogger wtc said...

Just a thought and maybe someone posted it earlier, but I am thinking that if the DB's can't play very good man coverage, you can't run a blitz.

5:57 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

Glad you are back in AL, Jay. Air travel can be a huge hassle nowadays; I try to avoid it and just drive everywhere if I have a choice. Sorry about not getting to spend more time with your family. There are problems with most any job; I wouldn't want yours, and you probably wouldn't want mine.

Had to do a funeral for a good friend this afternoon. Seeing the heartache of that family would help anyone realize that a football game really isn't that important.

But football is still a good diversion for us all, and I still think we have a much better season than most here thought before it began. The 10-2 scenario may be gone, but 9-3 is still doable, and I don't think we finish worse than 8-4. But we need to beat KY, we really need to beat KY.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wtc....shhhhhh....don't say that real loud ... we don't want Ky to know that.

It kills me when fans want to ask detailed questions to coaches regarding shortcomings. Most truthful answers by coaches would reveal team weaknesses.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I wasn't whining about my gig or anything.

Just letting you know what's running through my head, which is a recurring HABOTN theme.

It's no surprise that many sports writers are divorced.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Hoopie: So you're telling me that if Gene Chizik said linebacker depth was his biggest weakness that Les Miles or Nick Saban or Bobby Petrino would consider that breaking news?

6:09 PM  
Blogger FSJ said...

Anybody that has watched Auburn's recruiting over the past couple of years could guess that LB depth would be an issue.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JGT....I hope you are heading home and hopefully have tommorrow off.

Back in the day, I travelled Monday to Thursday most weeks and missed a lot of my daughters pre-8 yr old years. Luckily I changed my situation.

6:11 PM  
Blogger FSJ said...


Up until about four years ago I spent 3/4 of my work days on the road.

I was a pro at navigating airports all over the south.

I had the perfect job for a single person. Any other situation and it was not so good.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Jay..I wasn't talking about something that obvious.

Most coaches are going to see the weaknesses anyway, but you still don't advertise it just to satisfy some fans.

I guess the fact that coaches don't provide those details should support my statement.

6:15 PM  
Blogger JgobravesHAG said...

I'm applying to a very very bad school this week

6:18 PM  
Blogger FSJ said...

Come on over to the dark side jhag..

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FSJ....In 1988 I had 180 Marriott room nights in one year and it almost caused a divorce. Subtract weekends and holidays from 365 and that doesn't leave many weekdays in town.

It was 1997 when I was able to change my direction. In the interim, ya gotta put food on the table.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jhag...are you applying to FSU?

6:19 PM  
Blogger JgobravesHAG said...

Hoopie no no no

6:21 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Infiltrate like a computer virus jhag. Bring it down.

6:21 PM  
Blogger JgobravesHAG said...

I don't think it is of my best interest to release this information

6:22 PM  
Blogger FSJ said...

I typically tried to stay in one chain too Hoopie. I was into Hilton's whenever I could get them..

I spent so many nights at the New Orleans Wyndham on Canal in 2000/2001 that they upgraded me to a suite for Mardi Gras that year.

You had to keep the room for all seven days or risk losing it during the New Years/Mardi Gras timeframe....So my company paid about $200.00 a night for two months straight.

6:23 PM  
Blogger wtc said...

Good point FSJ on recruiting:

2008-Pybus,Da'Shaun Barnes
2007-Bynes,Freeman,Carlton Johnson,Chris Zinn
2006-Craig Stevens, Hendrick Leverette

Not hatin' but look at that list. And then look at it again. I don't care what ANYONE says, somebody was asleep at the wheel and don't post telling me different.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

JGT - Did you happen to check out the AJC today? Furman Bishar had his last column today after starting there in 1950, He touched on your same theme about away from home.

Have you ever met Furman? I had the pleasure years ago. A true southern gentleman - and funny as heck too. I veing a Born and Bread Atlantan - he will be missed.


6:26 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

Say it ain't so, jhag, we are all suspecting the worst here.

6:26 PM  
Blogger wtc said...

Those were LB recruits.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...


6:29 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

jhag: Why consider Alabama with so many quality schools in state?

6:31 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I'd also add Auburn to that list, but I know you like Auburn.

6:32 PM  
Blogger JgobravesHAG said...

I'm the most confused, indecisive individual out there when it comes to a college choice

6:33 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

what exactly are you looking for in a university? what are you majoring in?

6:35 PM  
Blogger JgobravesHAG said...

ehh As of now undecided, since they say everyone switches their major I think it is irrelevant for now...but my interests would be... Construction management, Business, but I would really love to do something involving sports

6:36 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

Couldn't have been more indecisive than me Jhag, I decided on the deadline day. It came down to FSU and AU for me.

6:36 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Ok, what about your grades? Are you going to qualify for scholarships or are your parents going to be paying?

6:37 PM  
Blogger JgobravesHAG said...

There will be no scholarships involved, unless for weird reasons

6:38 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

jhag - Given the interests you stated, I think your decision is an easy one. AU it is.

6:40 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Then, as much as I love Auburn and I think it is the perfect school, I am with Jay G. Why go to the expense of an out of state school when you can get a perfectly good education at a state school? Just throwing out food for thought here, questions to think about. I'm a mom, that's what I do :)

6:41 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

Engineering for me..... Never wavered

6:41 PM  
Blogger JgobravesHAG said...

Because I'm not from Florida originally and have been waiting to get out of here for years

6:42 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

My daughter was bent on going to Auburn even though we lived in Cincinnati at the time. But, she got a full scholarship which allowed her in-state tuition, so we could swing it. We were determined the kids were going to go to college without us going into debt and that would have been hard to do at an out of state school without a scholarship.

6:42 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

I can understand that - I really wanted the kids to come back south for school and not go north of the Mason Dixon line!

Lucky for our son, we saved enough on Kathryn's tuition that we were able to pay out of state for him and he came to Auburn.

I'm with Norm, the interests you listed seem to match up well to Auburn. If you want to get out of Florida, Auburn is your place!

You can drive yourself crazy trying to apply everywhere.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

Cincy - When I started at AU - it was cheaper out of state for a GA boy than to go in state @ GT..... 185 in state for AL people - doulbe for me @ 370 - still cheaper . Them one summer quarter and I was a resident

6:46 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

I could be mistaken but I believe Eddie and ehyou (perhaps some others too) can attest to the construction programs at AU.

6:46 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Yeah, LT, they've changed that resident criteria. My son-in-law worked his way through school at Auburn, paid all of his living expenses, all of his college that wasn't scholarship. But, because he came to Alabama from TN for the purpose of going to college, he could not get residency! That is the pits.

We moved here with Tom's job. Our tuition went from $10,000 a semester for two kids, to $2500 a semester!

6:49 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

You must have been at Auburn about the same time we were, I think it was $183 a quarter or something like that for in-state.

6:50 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

jhag, if out-of-state tuition is an issue, you could go to an AL junior college for a year and establish a residency here, then transfer to Auburn and pay in-state. At least, that used to work; may not anymore.

6:50 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Definitely check into that because Auburn and Alabama both have made it incredibly difficult to get residency. You can do it, but there are lots of hoops to jump through.

6:51 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

I've been wondering why AU seems to have so much trouble with morning games. I mean, we are a farming school, farmers get up early, we should be at our best then. The late night games should be when we have trouble. Maybe Michael can explain this to me.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

LT may be able to verify this, but a coworker told me he went to school at Jacksonville St in AL and even though he's a resident of GA, he was able to go on in-state tuition due to some program targeting certain GA counties. I think he told me even Cobb was part of the program.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

WOW Cincy - I still remember strokng that $350+ check for my first quarter......How times have changed....

6:53 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

Sounds like jhag can ignore my obsolete advice on establishing residency. Sorry about that.

Just don't go to bammer, no matter what. No career would be worth the shame you would feel.

6:55 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

I agree with Coosa!!!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

Don"t recall that Norm

6:55 PM  
Blogger michael said...

coosa - Auburn has trouble with morning games because they often lose them when they are not supposed to. Wait, that is the result of trouble with morning games, not the cause. Or is it?

Morning games always take the crowd out of it a bit and help the away team in general. I don't think you can blame this last loss on it being a morning game. Auburn came out the same way against West Virginia, but Arkansas just wasn't as kind to us in the TO department.

6:56 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Yeah, LT, I'd love to be paying $350 for a quarter :) But we are through with tuition!!! Tyler graduates in May. Maybe I will have some money to spend...

6:57 PM  
Blogger michael said...

I got married and had a kid in college and had a stay at home wife and still couldn't get residency. I had to get a full time job or something crazy like that.

6:57 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Maybe I should invest in Michael's goats. Oh, I'm not supposed to talk about Michael's business, am I?

6:58 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

They've pretty much closed all the loopholes for getting residency if you moved in state to go to school.

7:00 PM  
Blogger michael said...

cincy, invest away. Just don't expect any returns for about 37 years and as always... don't ask me about my business.

7:01 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

I do have great news, though. My son-in-law got an offer from Bradley-Arant law firm for a position! So he will finish at Vandy law school in May, go to Montgomery for a year to clerk for Judge Dubina and then be in Birmingham! I am so excited that they will be close and close enough to Auburn to keep coming to the games. I was so afraid they were going to end up in Washington, DC or somewhere far away.

7:04 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Let's see MIchael, in 37 years I will be 87. I might need to see a little return before then. I better find another investment.

7:05 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

I'm free falling in the pick ems!

7:07 PM  
Blogger IV said...

Lets see, in 37 years, I will be 107. Hmmm, that will be about the time I would need my return. I think I will invest. I once owned a papaya farm in Rhode Island that larger than the entire state of Texas.

7:09 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

I must be as old as IV; I remember writing tuition checks for $183. And I'm pretty sure that some of them were cheaper than that my freshman year.

So Michael, you didn't address the issue of farmers not doing well in the morning. Could it be that none of our players were raised on farms? And none of them are ag students?

Maybe we should start recruiting more of a mixture of farmers and urbanites so we will have at least some players who can function at a normal level no matter when we play.

Wonder if Rivals takes this into consideration in awarding stars?

7:10 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

Mine was 2X out of state - $364 Coosa.....

7:11 PM  
Blogger IV said...

I don't remember what the exact tuition was back in my day, however, I remember having to have $300.00 to pay tuition,books and room and board for a quarter. This did not include any mad money. Student tickets to football games were $1.00. Good days on the plains.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

I remember tickets being free - but that could be a result of the Jack Daniels

7:17 PM  
Blogger IV said...

I was a co-op student working with the Alabama Highway Dept. making a whopping $176.00 per month. I worked a quarter and then went to school on alternating quarters. I had to save about every thing I made over 3 months to be able to go to school the next quarter. Not many fun times at school or when I was working. Thank goodness the AHD let me work in Selma so I could stay with my parents while working.

7:21 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

I'm shocked that we are ranked #24 in the Harris poll, and just out of the others. Even I would not rank after that performance yesterday. If we beat KY, we will probably move back into all the polls.

If we aren't good enough to beat KY at home without their QB, the season is pretty much lost and we are likely staring at 6-6 and the weedeater bowl. I don't think that will happen.

7:22 PM  
Blogger IV said...

Oh, and I didn't have a car. Back then you could walk everywhere in Auburn including classes and whatever else you needed in town. Of course, I always had a buddy who had a car for things that required driving somewhere.

7:23 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

This whole year we've been a slow starting team...we survived the slow start with WVU but it helped us to be at home...we couldn't survive it on the road.

I just never thought we'd struggle to move the ball against Arkansas early on like we did.

You can tell that being told you were one of the best teams in America after winning the UT game on the road went to some people's heads.

That being said, LSU and Georgia are very winnable games that I didn't think at the start of the year we'd be able to pull off.

7:23 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...


Did Hartline get hurt for KY?

That might actually improve their game if he is out.

7:24 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

Student tickets were $1 when I was there. But you had to order them in the spring, and the freshmen were lucky to get any. Back then, students actually sat in their seats. I had 45 yd line seats the year I was in grad school, but that was 1976 and our team was awful. But I had a good view of all our defeats.

I couldn't go to the AL game one year and scalped it for $5. I felt really bad about it later.

7:26 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

RK, Heartline is out for the season. Was he that bad? I haven't watched one of their games, so really know nothing about them.

Still, losing your starting qb isn't good.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JHAG....The top southern Const Mgmnt schools are: AU, UF and GT. Clemson, and Miss St are also options. aTm, Purdue and Stanford are the other top rated construction schools.

You will need good grades to get in the top schools.

7:30 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

Hartline, sorry. I learned to read by fonics.

7:33 PM  
Blogger IV said...

I learned to read by the oil lamp.

7:34 PM  
Blogger IV said...

IV out for some pro football. Colts and Titans. I will be pulling for Peyton and the Colts.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coosa..I got to AU in '75 and tx weren't a prob. I finished in '80 and don't even remember having to order the previous spring. Seems the tx were $2 by the time I left. Fans from that era are very loyal and patient.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Dear Leader said...

**On Auburn's third-quarter comeback, Chizik shrugged:

``If we're looking for warm-and-fuzzies, that's what they're supposed to do."

I like this frankness..Franklin had it and so does CGC...

7:43 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

Hartline wasn't a good QB, and you never know when starters go down how to prepare for someone you haven't seen.

Look at the 2001 Iron Bowl, we practiced for the option and Watts all week and we got play action and Zow in the game.

7:59 PM  
Blogger wes said...

WERK, you are never to speak of 2001...never.

8:03 PM  
Blogger wes said...

jerraud powers makes a play for the colts!

8:03 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

I know. Trust me, I was at that game. I know the pain.

8:03 PM  
Blogger wes said...

bironas kicks the FG

8:04 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

WERK - I was there too in '01 (all the rest of the games too, UF was priceless). Did you see me?

8:09 PM  
Blogger scottatl said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:10 PM  
Blogger scottatl said...

Anybody else think that Bama and Florida are so much ahead of the other 10 teams it not even funny....I mean I watched the UA - UM Game and I dont think Bama even tried

8:10 PM  
Blogger wes said...

scott-i'm with you. bama's D is scary.

8:12 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

Hoopie - At least we had decent teams in 72 and 74 when I was there; not much positive in your time, though the 79 team was pretty good.

But you never got to enjoy an IB win; I at least had one.

I think being from that era caused me to appreciate the Tubs streak more than grads from later years.

8:24 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

Scott, I don't think even FL is in the class with bammer.

I certainly hope I am wrong.

8:25 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

WERK - the fact that we won't know what kind of offense KY will run with a new QB is negated by the fact that our defense is no good against any offense.

Advantage - Auburn

8:28 PM  
Blogger scottatl said...


i agree with you...heck I don't see a team in the country who could hang with them right now...didnt see this coming 3 years ago

8:40 PM  
Blogger mytommyd said...

I just had a moment of trying to ask the group how to fix the defense, but I can't word it right.

War Eagle

8:40 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

New thread UPZ.

8:49 PM  
Blogger WDEwg said...

I know you are frustrated by the travel weekend, lack of family time, and all, and I also know you go out of your way to be unbiased, but do you have to frame the questions as AU being "gutted" and the defense. "sucking"? We all get it, AU lost and looked bad.

Seems a little less than necessary, as I presume that the questions weren't asked exactly lIke that.

I check HABOTN at least 7 times daily and normally enjoythe coverage alot, but stuff lke this gets old.

8:59 PM  

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