Gene Chizik speaks, 10/4
After that, it's small stuff that may or may not interest you.
So here we go:
THE FIVE THINGS
- On Auburn breaking into the polls: ``The higher the better and all that good stuff. We've only played five games. At this point, it's somewhat insignificant. It only matters where you are in the end of December. All that stuff helps recruiting, but we don't pay a lot of attention to it."
- On coaching against Bobby Petrino, with whom Chizik served as an Auburn coordinator in 2002: ``He remembers me for x number of months. A large portion of that, we weren't going against each other, but I was around him enough to know he's one of the best in the country."
- On Auburn's defense surrendering 200+ yards during the fourth quarter against Tennessee: ``When you know your opponent has to score three times to win, you just don't want to give the game away for doing some silly things. Most of the night, I thought we played much better defense that we had previously. The fourth quarter got away from us a little bit. We're not looking at numbers and statistics and all those things."
- On Eric Smith: ``He's a guy we've got a lot of trust in. He can play two or three (positions) and he plays them well. Our goal is to never take a guy like that and play him on more than two special teams, but he could play on all of them."
- Chizik said he'll continue to consider using Philip Pierre-Louis on punt returns, but not on offense. Asked if PPL's repaired knee was the sticking point, the coach said: ``That really hasn't been his issue."
THE OTHER STUFF
- On what he learned about his team at Tennessee: ``It was more verification than anything. The verification was similar to what we learned at home -- that we'll play hard for 60 minutes. It was neat to see there wasn't much a difference in the way we responded. I don't know that there were many revolutionary things we learned. It was more verification."
- On Auburn's defensive performance: ``I don't know if it was our best or not, but we took some strides in the right direction. I still think we are a work in progress, no question. We have to continue to get better on the defensive side of the ball if we're going to continue to win in October."
- More on Petrino: ``He's very, very precise. He knows exactly what he wants. He coaches those guys in minute details. He knows how to run the ball. He knows how to throw the ball. He knows what to expect from you defensively."
- On OL Bart Eddins, who earned his first career start Saturday: ``Really proud of Bart. He's really overcome some health issues. He played with the Saturday night. They didn't just go away. I was proud that he was able to step up and help our football team win."
- On why Barrett Trotter travels with the varsity: ``We want to keep him around the offense. He does some things with signaling. That's his role on the road."
- On S Daren Bates: ``He's gotten better every week. He's still so far away from his potential. He's more relaxed. You're a product of what you continually do. The reps are starting to pile up for him."
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
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