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WRAPPIN' IT UP: Auburn @ Georgia

Hey everyone. Well, that was an interesting game.

Auburn had control and lost it. So it goes.

Here are some stats and quotes that may interest you:
  • THIRD DOWNS: Auburn (5-of-13); Georgia (5-of-11)

  • Auburn and Georgia both had 38 carries. Auburn gained 115 yards. Georgia gained 169 yards.

  • Demond Washington set a school record with 202 KOR yards.

  • Auburn held the ball for 10:59 in the first quarter and finished with 29:13 in all. Yowsers.

  • Ben Tate on the loss: `` If I had a $1 million in my bank account I would of bet $1 million that we would come down here and win this game. You couldn’t convince me we weren’t going to come out and beat these boys."

  • Tate finished with 67 yards on 20 carries.

  • Tate on his game: ``I didn’t play great. I didn’t play good at all, probably the worst game I’ve played all year. And we lose the game and I finish my career 0-4 against Georgia."

  • Gene Chizik on the game: ``I am very proud of our team. We just kept coming at them and coming back after jumping off to the quick start and Georgia came firing back. This one is a tough one to handle tonight."

  • Chizik on finally getting an off week: ``Our guys have been going for 15 straight weeks, close to four months non-stop. We have to stay smart on how to give rest and still stay sharp for Alabama. We need to be smart about it and that is something that we'll look into tomorrow. They are going to take a few days off -- and we need that."

  • Gus Malzahn on Chris Todd's first interception: ``He got hit."

  • Malzahn on Todd's second interception: ``It was just a miscommunication."

  • Malzahn on Onterio McCalebb, who gained 60 yards on 11 carries: ``He did a good job. He’s still not 100 percent. He provided a little spark to us."

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Auburn @ Georgia, 2nd half

Welcome. We are watching the second half of Auburn's game at Georgia.




  • Georgia first possession: FIELD GOAL. Blair Walsh 50 FG. Drive covered 38 yards in nine plays.
      AUBURN 14, GEORGIA 10

  • Auburn first possession: Three-and-out.

  • Georgia second possession: TOUCHDOWN. Washaun Ealy 1 run. PAT kick is good. Drive covered 82 yards in 9 plays. The big play was on the first third down -- Josh Bynes tipped a pass to a completely surprised Orson Charles. The play went for 33 yards.
      GEORGIA 17, AUBURN 14

  • Auburn second possession: FIELD GOAL. Wes Byrum 37 yards. Drive covered 57 yards in 7 plays.
      AUBURN 17, GEORGIA 17

  • Georgia third possession: TOUCHDOWN. Caleb King 11 run. PAT kick good. Drive covered 69 yards in 6 plays. The key play was a 47-yard pass that got Georgia to the AU 11. Neiko Thorpe blew the coverage.
      GEORGIA 24, AUBURN 17

  • Auburn third possession: TOUCHDOWN. Demond Washington 99 kickoff return.
      AUBURN 24, GEORGIA 24

  • Georgia fourth possession: PUNT. Not much happening.

  • Auburn fourth possession: INTERCEPTION. Chris Todd threw toward nobody ... right in the middle of the field. Weird.

  • Georgia fifth possession: TOUCHDOWN. Caleb King 24 run. PAT kick good. Drive covered 39 yards in 4 plays. Chris Todd's second interception set the table.
      GEORGIA 31, AUBURN 24

  • Auburn fifth possession: TURNOVER ON DOWNS. Auburn moved to the UGA 23, but things regressed from there.

Auburn @ Georgia, 1st half

Hey everyone. We are watching Auburn's game at University of Georgia this evening. Please join in.

  • Auburn first possession: TOUCHDOWN. Kodi Burns 5 pass from Chris Todd. PAT kick good. Drive covered 74 yards in 9 plays. Todd was 4-of-4 for 55 yards.

  • Georgia first possession: PUNT. Three-and-out.

  • Auburn second possession: TOUCHDOWN. Terrell Zachery 31 pass from Todd. PAT kick good. Drive covered 82 yards in 11 plays. Auburn converted each of its three third-down situations with passes from Todd. He was 5-of-5 for 63 yards.
      AUBURN 14, GEORGIA 0

  • Georgia second possession: Three-and-out.

  • Auburn third possession: Three-and-out.

  • Georgia third possession: TOUCHDOWN. Israel Troupe 50 pass from Joe Cox. PAT kick good. Play covered 86 yards in 5 plays.
      AUBURN 14, GEORGIA 7

  • Auburn fourth possession: PUNT. Auburn moved to the UGA 36, but couldn't finish the drive.

  • Georgia fourth possession: PUNT. Punted from the UGA 12.

  • Auburn fifth possession: PUNT. Three-and-out.

  • Georgia fifth possession: PUNT. Three-and-out.

  • Auburn sixth possession: PUNT. Three-and-out.

  • Georgia sixth possession: FIRST HALF ENDS.


Welcome to Sanford Stadium

Current time

5:15 p.m. EST.

Hey everyone. As discussed earlier, it's a beautiful day for football here in north Georgia. I'm covering AU/UGA in short sleeves for the first time ever. It's awesome.

UPDATE N. 1: TB Ben Tate will be wearing the No. 4 jersey tonight to honor Zac Etheridge.

UPDATE No. 2: Onterio McCalebb is warming up as expected. He looks fine.

There are a lot of Auburn fans here today.

Your Official HABOTN Breakdown

Hey everyone. Greetings from north Georgia, where the sun in shining and I'm now sufficiently rested.

I arrived at Le Hotel de Georgia around 4 a.m. after driving over from Auburn High's win against Wetumpka last night. Getting into Athens often is difficult. It wasn't difficult this morning.

I saw where all three ESPN Gameday analysts -- Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard -- picked Auburn to win today. I'm a little surprised with that.

I feel the same way.

When: 6 p.m. CST today
Where: Samford Stadium, Athens, Ga.
Line: Georgia by 4
On the air: TV – ESPN2. Radio — WLWI-FM 92.3, WMSP-AM 740


1. Auburn's offense was good against Ole Miss and seemed as sharp as possible in the easy win against Furman last week. It's still reasonable to have doubts about the consistency of Gus Malzahn's offense, which essentially blacked out in games against Kentucky and LSU. Things again seem swell and there are no statistical trends foreshadowing problems, but can Auburn keep it going in Athens? Georgia's defense has been well short of awesome this season, so the Tigers seem to be heading into a favorable situation this weekend. Still, memories of Baton Rouge don't die easily.

2. The defensive depth chart still looks like the Bonneville Salt Flats beyond the first team. Ted Roof played the second- and third-team guys against Furman last weekend and they were abused repeatedly. Does that matter? Maybe not. The season-ending injury to Zac Etheridge aside, Auburn has been pretty lucky with defensive injuries this season. Most of those defensive starters received something of a day off against Furman. Extra rest could make the Tigers more effective than usual today. Remember, though, that any additional injury at defensive back or linebacker will be a terminal development.

3. Georgia wideout A.J. Green missed Georgia's win against Tennessee Tech last weekend with a bruised lung. His prognosis is unclear. He'll play tonight, but will he be A.J. Green? His availability makes a world of difference for the Bulldogs, who rely on him to force the defense away from a run-stopping mentality. Without that threat, Georgia is an ordinary offense with an ordinary rushing attack. Auburn's defenders would feel good about defending a Green-less enterprise. If the star wideout is in the game, though, things could change in a hurry.

4. It's no secret that Auburn-Georgia games are emotional, but this one seems to have more subplots than usual. The Bulldogs, currently 5-4, appear on the verge of implosion. Fans are restless. Auburn, meanwhile, is on the verge of regaining its national relevance. The team appears to have settled after 10 months of major changes and seems fully rehabilitated after a disappointing 2008 season. If the Tigers want to take that next step, they need to win tonight. That would ensure their invitation into in a high-profile bowl and provide concrete evidence that coach Gene Chizik is making substantial progress.


Georgia WR A.J. Green vs. Auburn S Demond Washington

Washington may not escape this section until next season. Why would he? The junior is a classically trained cornerback with cornerback skills and, at 5-foot-8, cornerback size. An injury to Zac Etheridge has forced Auburn to move Washington to safety, where he is hoping to simply survive. He was good against Furman last weekend, exhibiting plenty of closing speed. Will he be able to enforce similarly against an SEC franchise player like A.J. Green? You'd better believe Georgia considers Washington a weakness -- and those coaches have developed plays to exploit him this weekend. Will he be up to the challenge?

Darvin Adams
WR, 6-3, 185, Soph.
Adams has been the biggest surprise of the season for Auburn, which hasn't exactly been a clearinghouse for receiver talent of late. Adams is sly. He thinks along with the defense and his quarterback, which gives him a significant intellectual advantage on the field. Adams also has unusual jumping ability -- he is able to challenge even the tallest defensive backs for high passes. The sophomore is a perfect fit for Gus Malzahn's offense and that won't be changing.


9 -- Touchdown catches for Darvin Adams, which leads the Southeastern Conference.

12.5 -- Tackles for loss registered this season by Antonio Coleman, which leads the SEC.

24 -- Number of Auburn touchdown drives that have required less than two minutes of work.

-- Aggregate point differential of the 112 games Auburn and Georgia have played. The Bulldogs are ahead.

93.9 -- Auburn's offensive red-zone percentage, which ranks 13th in the NCAA.

450.3 -- Average number of yards gained by the Tigers this season.


I can't believe I'm making this pick. Georgia is deceptive in the sense that three of its four losses were to top-10 teams. That 5-4 record is unsightly to say the least. Auburn has a chance to exploit the Bulldogs today because the home team's defense lacks the show-stopping talent of yesteryear. The difference is obvious: Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee each scored at least 41 points on Georgia earlier this season. Auburn's offense, on a good day, is outstanding. The Tigers will score points. If star wideout A.J. Green isn't himself today, Auburn's defense could gain the upper hand. Without a healthy Green, Georgia's attack appears ordinary and provides an inoffensive matchup for the Tigers.

Auburn 35, Georgia 24

Auburn picks up another commitment

Hey everyone. Our friends across the Intertubes --, ITAT and Auburn Undercover -- are reporting that Louisiana WR Trovon Reed has committed to Les Tigres. ranks Reed as Louisiana's top prospect and the country's No. 7 prep wideout. He is six feet tall and weighs approximately 175 pounds. Reed had offers from basically everyone.

He is the second major offensive recruit to pick Auburn during the past week. Arkansas TB Michael Dyer pledged his undying love toward the Tigers last Friday.

Photo credit: ESPN

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

Morning Reader: 11/13

Hey everyone. Thanks to the night shift for participating in the Q-and-A session last night.

We had something like 196 participants, which isn't bad considering I didn't promote it all that well. So it goes.

Thanks to Peter, RK, Jetarsky and Kathy for going the distance.

  • RADIO APPEARANCE @ 9:05 a.m. CST ... check it: Hatin' with Jay G.
  • I'll be covering the epic Wetumpka-Auburn High Class 6A Playoff showdown tonight. After that, I'll be headed to Athens, Ga., to rest my head. Still, I'll release the Official HABOTN Game Preview® at noon today.

Your Questions, My Answers

Thursday Night Live




Hey everyone. We're listening to Tiger Talk, coach Gene Chizik's weekly radio show, and watching Les Bears play Les 49ers on the NFL Network. No college game this week on the HABOTN, though you can watch South Florida and Rutgers on ESPN.

Please stand and sing.

  • Jeff Lebo, the school's second-best basketball coach, is working the first segment tonight. I now understand it was taped. I feel cheated.

  • On beating Furman: ``You want to be able to have your football team play a good half of football and you hope you can jump out there, get a lead and play the other guys on your football team. We moved the ball well."

  • On the Georgia game: "We know how big of a rivalry this game against Georgia is. Our guys have had great practices all week. They're really in tune. Our guys will be up for it."

  • On this 5-4 Georgia team: ``They haven't slipped up one bit in terms of talent."

  • Aaron from Tuscaloosa loves the show, is excited about the team, is happy about Mike Dyer committing, wants to know how Auburn can execute against this defense: ``Georgia is very, very talented. We need to get off to a fast start in the game -- that's the first thing. Our special teams are going to be very critical when it comes to field-position battles. We can't get in a hole with special teams."

  • Paul from Bammerham is glad Zaccheus Etheridge is OK, wants to send him a get-well card and they exchanged addresses. Thrilling: "It'll find its way to Zac, I promise."

  • He's still going. He's praising Curtis Luper's service in the Army: No answer. They cut him off quicker than Lindsay Lohan at The Viper Room.

  • Paul in Abbeville is appreciative of Coach Gene signing his poster, he can't get around much, he likes the team, wants to know when Auburn is playing Alabama: Great question. Thanks.

  • Mike in Albertville, who can save the show with a question at this point, wants to know if Auburn has some special stuff to use in these next two games: ``If there was something I was going to do that was unexpected and I told you, then it would be expected."

  • Amy in Gulf Shores, please let her be useful. She wants to know if Auburn can disguise the blitzes better: ``Great call, Amy. We'll do that. We'll bounce around back there and see if we can confuse some people. Sounds like she has some blitzes."

  • Roy from Atmore wants to know if Auburn is going to run the option: ``Absolutely, every week."

  • He's still going. He wants to know if Gene will recruit in Atmore someday soon: ``I don't know if I'll be a limousine, but we'll definitely be down there because we know about the talent down there."

  • Tim from the Interwebs wants to know why Ben Tate isn't getting more hype, though he was named a Doak Walker Award semifinalist today: ``That says a mouthful right there. How much publicity is he getting out there? I don't know. The NFL scouts are interested."

  • T.J. in Leeds had phone trouble the other night, but he's good now. He wants to talk with Chizik about Auburn being good against Furman and wants Auburn to beat Georgia: No question. No answer. Worst show ever.

  • Shane from Dothan wants to know how to get Mario and E-Smith on the field together: ``Eric plays a lot. He plays a lot of different positions. Mario is our speed sweep guy (incorrect). Mario has come on during the past few weeks basically doing triple duty. Gus is good at not pin-pointing one guys as Your Guy."

  • Jonathan in Opelika loves Chizik, wants to know why Auburn runs out of the shotgun on 4th-and-1: ``We're just not a team that is under center. We will do that some in a certain package we have. We're a shotgun team. That's what we practice all the time. We have some good stuff out of that package on 4th-and-short."

  • John from somewhere wants to know about Andrew McCain: ``He has practiced this week. We've had to be smart on how much we have practiced him. We're expecting him to play Saturday."

  • Mitch from Atmore has questions about the guy who holds kickoffs in windy conditions -- I have no idea why this matters -- and wants to know about the team's tempo: ``We love the tempo. We know the tempo is effective ... if you're getting first downs. We'll go as fast as we can, but we have to take everything into consideration."

  • Eric from The Gump wants to know why Auburn's defense is better lately ... and why Mario Fannin doesn't get the ball more: ``Our pass rush has gotten better. There's two reasons. We've had the emergence of Antoine Carter. And then Antonio ... Coleman. He's basically been playing with one arm all year. You can see that his numbers have gone up. We're being a little more aggressive with the blitzes. (That's three reasons, Gene.)

  • Gene loves Georgia WR A.J. Green. Totally enamored. ``We know we've got a challenge."

  • On Demond Washington: ``I don't think people really realize how big (the transition from CB to S) is. He's back there, really, for the first time. The last game was just a scrimmage. It's a different world (at Georgia)."

  • Alan from Bear Creek, no idea where that is, wants CGC to give his son Charlie a shout-out and wants to know what Auburn did to improve on punt return: ``We may go in with a little bit different punt returner. We haven't had anybody from our team step up -- and that's really disappointing. We'll have to go out and recruit and find somebody to do that."

  • Donald in Bammerham wants to know about off weeks: ``Since we started practice, that's a lot of straight football. We haven't had a break yet. We're glad that, going into the Iron Bowl, that we have a week off. If you have a team depth-wise where you want it, maybe (a break-free season) is a good thing. We're happy we have it. Is it the best thing? I've got back and forth on that. I don't know."

  • Jason from Auburn wants to know about how players prepare mentally for the Iron Bowl without seeing their family on Thanksgiving: ``Their families ... they can come here and they can spend some time with them. You can't practice all day long. On Thanksgiving Day, we'll be done at 11:30 in the morning. We won't make them do anything until 5 p.m."

  • Programming note: Tiger Talk will be on MONDAY prior to the Iron Bowl.

  • Georgia is good, Gene?: ``That's what you'd expect to play. They've had a lot of years to recruit a lot of great ones."

  • That's a wrap.

Morning Reader: 11/12

Hey everyone. I used to do a somewhat elaborate first post each day, but it became too cumbersome.

Do you really need links to every story I've written since my days at the Kentucky Kernel?

So here's what I'm thinking: A shorter version that includes only what you need.

Winnipeg Jets? Random stuff rolls through my brain all the time.

  • Thursday Night Live beginning at 7 p.m. CST with Tiger Talk.

Taking stock, 11/11

Hey everyone. Hello again and welcome to our (semi) weekly stock report, which is a light-hearted look at what's happening with Auburn's football program. The Furman game was at least somewhat entertaining, for reasons we'll discuss below, and that means we have some market movement.

I hope you sold PPL before it was de-listed.

UB Eric Smith: That's U.B. for utility back. He has been a subtle-yet-substantive element of the Tigers' attack this season. Smith, aka Piston Hurricane (from "Punch-Out" fame), has been a beast on third down as a receiver. He also showed surprising quickness as a tailback last week, though maybe Furman had something to do with that.

KR Philip Pierre-Louis: Surely that's a wrap, right? He initially was scared of the ball against Furman, then decided to field a punt while running backward. He fumbled. The Paladins recovered. PPL also had a negative return. Think Worldcom with this stock: Here today, gone tomorrow.

WR D'Angelo Benton: His stock was dropping last week after all but disappearing from the Tigers' enterprise, but he caught six balls against Furman. And he looked good doing it. Was it all a mirage? Benton surely didn't think so, proclaiming afterward that he will become an offensive fixture before long. I'm not sure about that, but I'm certain Benton has some skills.

LB Adam Herring: The guy must be cursed. He's useless last season, endures painful surgery during the offseason, falls into a plum role earlier this season and now he's again injured. Gene Chizik said it's the same problem, too. Auburn desperately needs Herring as (at the very least) a fall-back option in case of injury. That apparently won't happen. Chizik said freshman Jonathan Evans is the No. 4 guy right now.

S Demond Washington: He has closing speed and can become fearless when needed. Say that for him. With Zac Etheridge out for the season, Washington, a cornerback by trade, has made the move to strong safety and looked good against Furman. Yeah, it was Furman. I was impressed with Washington's acceleration and direct approach toward tackling. Georgia will find ways to test him this weekend, but he may be up for the big challenges. He has a lot of guile -- and some skill.

WR Travante Stallworth: He was knocked from the Furman game with what looked like a knee injury and, honestly, things don't look good. Chizik, as always, was evasive when asked about the freshman's status. Anecdotal information suggests Stallworth is headed for surgery, which robs Auburn of another up-and-coming playmaker. I think he has star potential, though some people I trust think he'll settle in as an average wideout. We shall see.

Shawn Kemp Jr. among five Auburn hoops signees

Hey everyone. This is a quick note to let you know that Shawn Kemp Jr., the oldest son of former NBA star Shawn Kemp, signed a Letter of Intent with the Tigers today.

We know this because our friends at, ITAT and say so.

He's a legit prospect, a 6-foot-9 power forward or center who will bring grit to Auburn's frontcourt. He committed to Alabama last year, but failed to qualify and currently plays at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy.

Auburn also signed these guys:
PG Anthony Salter, 5-11 (from junior college)
PF Adrian Forbes, 6-8 (from junior college)
PF Heath Houston, 6-7 (from a Georgia high school)
SG Jalen Steele, 6-2 (from a Tennessee high school)

BLAWGIN' FER YER NOGGIN: Gene Chizik speaks again

Hey everyone. You know how this works.

  • He has arrived ... three minutes late.

  • "This is a great, great Georgia football team. Our kids ought to be into it and ready to play."

  • On if he'd buy stock in this team: ``I've seen them go through a lot of good and some bad -- and handle both. They just keep coming back, keep playing, keep fighting. They just keep hanging in there."

    (He won't answer the question.)

  • On A.J. Green: ``AJ is a great talent. He has a lot of range and a lot of speed. He's their go-to guy this year. They take a lot of shot down the field with him. It'll be a huge challenge for our secondary -- which should be fun for our secondary. He'll make you go to work all night long. We'll have to make sure we have the right matchups when he's on the field."

  • On Joe Cox: ``The more pressure you get on him, the better. He's a very, very good quarterback. He's very accurate. He's an extremely talented guy. He can put the ball right on the money."

  • On Georgia's underperforming defense: ``When I look at them on film, I see a very talented team that has been very productive."

  • On injuries: ``Our staff has done a really nice job of being able to plug other guys in. Onterio McCalebb has been out ... and we've had some young guys stuff in there. They'll have to continue doing that."

  • On the line between promoting assistant for other jobs and wanting to keep a good staff at Auburn: ``It's a fine line. I want to help our guys to be able to achieve every goal that they set out to do when they became a head coach. If that's being a head coach, I want to help them -- just the way people helped me. I don't want to lose any of them. At the same time, my job as a head coach is to help them achieve those goals. There's no reason I wouldn't help them -- and they know that."

  • On retaining offensive swerve: ``You'd like to think you could carry it week-to-week. Sometimes we start the game off slow and we pick up momentum as we go. It's a game-by-game issue, in my opinion."

  • Travante Stallworth is out this week. ``He won't be playing."

  • On Ben Tate getting national respect: ``I'm really proud of him and the achnowedlgements he's receiving now are certainly well-deserved. He's a guy who laid low at the beginning of the year and did what he needed to do to become a better football player. Twelve hundred yards later, it's showing up."

  • Ben Tate's effect on recruiting: ``If you have a guy hit 1,000 yards in nine games in this league, that's hard to do. The proof is there. If you want to rush for 1,000 in this offense, you have opportunities to do that. You know you're going to get the ball."

  • That's a wrap.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

And so it begins

So Memphis fired coach Tommy West today, effective at season's end, and has assembled an intriguing list of possible candidates.

Welcome to the Coaching Carousel.

Sources told that Memphis is expected to attempt to hire a high-profile coach. Possible candidates include former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville; Division II North Alabama coach Terry Bowden, another former Auburn coach; Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn; and LSU assistant Larry Porter, the former Memphis running back.

Well, that would shorten Tuberville's commutes to Jimmy Sexton's office. On the other hand, Memphis is a weak program located in a (relatively) cold area of the Southeast.

Ummm, no. Not happening.

Malzahn? Maybe. I just don't think he's accomplished enough as a college coordinator to warrant a serious look, but I could be wrong. We'll all be keeping an eye on this as things progress.

Your late update, 11/8

Hey everyone. Several players made their way to the Rane Room this evening to discuss football and other items of interest this evening.

Let's summarize.

  • Auburn apparently will make a change at punt returner this weekend. Freshman Anthony Gulley, who was fired from the gig earlier this season, was fielding punts Sunday along with junior Demond Washington. That could be curtains for Philip Pierre-Louis, who had two negative returns and a fumble against Furman.

  • WR Darvin Adams (right) grew up in Mississippi, but played high-school ball in Marietta, Ga. He garnered some recruiting interest from Georgia, but let's say it wasn't exactly reciprocated.

    ``I'm not too much of a Georgia fan. I really didn't like Georgia. I think every letter I got from Georgia, I don't think I even read it. I guess it was because being in Georgia, everybody was a Georgia fan. I like being an underdog."

  • Defensive coordinator Ted Roof said he played 31 guys on defense against Furman. That included some guys who, um, maybe weren't made to play defense.

    ``Some guys that were wide receivers, some guys that were scout team offensive tackles, offensive guards, jumped out there and got some reps for us. But what I saw is I saw us play very well as a first group, and then get the game where we need to get it."

  • Roof on how he coached guys who didn't play defense: ``We were doing some old-time country coaching."

  • I sometimes throw out long-shot questions hoping for nuggets. I caught one Sunday night after asking tailback Ben Tate how he sells Auburn to recruits.

    ``It's easy to sell now. It's pretty easy to sell this year. I just be real with the guys. I let them know how things are going to be. Either they like it or they don't. I try to say the right things, but sometimes I don't know what that is. When you go to see Coach Yox, it's not going to be fun. I'm telling you that right now. You're going to work. If you want to be good and you want to work, that won't bother you."

  • You've seen Mario Fannin getting more carries these days after spending the first seven games as a receiver. He's willing to do what is asked of him, but it's clear that Fannin's career goals don't involve him lining up at tailback all the time.

    ``Being able to show that versatility, I've been told helps out in the long run. Being able to play both (positions) is great for me."
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Gene Chizik speaks, 11/8

Hey everyone. I just finished transcribing a significant portion of Gene Chizik's Sunday press conference. I refuse to bore you with the "day-by-day" and all that stuff. You already know that Chizik won't discuss injuries and only occasionally sheds light on anything.

Here are a few notable comments:

  • On what he's planning to do with Anthony Gulley: ``We're going to have more of those conversations as the week goes on. We don't really know what exactly we're going to do. Obviously he's a very good athlete, so he can do a couple of different things. But you can't just throw him out there at corner against the Georgias and Alabamas of the world and say: Hey, good luck."

  • On the situation at punt returner: ``Just really disappointing. It just really is disappointing and we've invested a lot of time in it. We've got to get somebody back there that we can count on to do that. Obviously, we don't have anybody at this point we feel like can. So if it has to be somebody new, then that's what we'll do this week. But we'll investigate more as the week goes on."

  • On the University of Georgia's football team: ``I've watched a lot of them. Hey -- they're very, very talented. That has not changed. Let's keep in perspective that three of their four losses were to top-10 team. They're still a really, really good football team with a ton of talent. They've beaten some really good football teams. I don't think anything has changed with them."

  • On Eric Smith: ``If you ask him to block, he blocks. If you ask him to catch the ball out of the backfield, he does that. He's made some critical third downs and big plays for us. He's got a great set of hands. He's a physical guys who can block 270-pound defensive end. There's just so much he does -- he covers kickoffs, he's on our kickoff-return team. Anything we ask him to do, he does and he's very reliable."

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

My AP Ballot

Just for transparency's sake:

1. Alabama
2. Florida
3. Texas
4. Boise State
5. Cincinnati
6. TCU
7. Georgia Tech
8. Ohio State
9. Pittsburgh
10. Utah
11. LSU
12. Oregon
13. Miami Florida
14. Houston
15. Virginia Tech
16. Penn State
17. Southern Cal
18. Iowa
19. Oklahoma State
20. Texas Tech
21. Arizona
22. West Virginia
23. Wisconsin
24. BYU
25. Navy

ALSO: Zenyatta, winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic, should be Horse of the Year.

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