Roof, Tigers Focused On Explosive UGA Offense

Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof talks about facing Georgia and the weapons for the Bulldogs.

Auburn, Ala.--The day after Auburn's Homecoming win over UTC, the focus for the BCS #2 Auburn Tigers (10-0, 6-0) was squarely on the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday. Without a win over coach Mark Richt's team since 2005, Auburn turned its attention quickly after an easy win over the Mocs on Saturday. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof said the Tigers won't have it easy against the explosive Bulldogs and the team is looking forward to the challenge.

"It's the next game on the schedule and we certainly have a history with them," Roof said. "We have a lot of respect for them. It's special because it's the next game."

Led by quarterback Aaron Murray and wide receiver A.J. Green, the Bulldogs are playing much better on offense in recent weeks and have become a very dangerous football team. Roof said it's easy to see how much they've grown when you watch them on film.

"He's very much mature beyond his years," Roof said. "If you look at them offensively in the last four SEC games they've scored over 30 points. They are hitting on all cylinders right now. They've got a lot of talent and ability, guys that can make explosive and big plays. The guy that is delivering the ball to them is doing a good job. He's a guy that has a lot of mobility to him as well."

One of the positions where the Tigers got some much needed playing time for the back ups was at linebacker on Saturday. With Daren Bates out it meant extended playing time for junior Eltoro Freeman as well as senior Craig Stevens, who moved over to the strong side. Roof said Freeman did a good job and took a step forward on Saturday.

"He played better," Roof said. "I was proud of him. I thought he did a good job. Now the challenge is to play better this week. That's one of the things we talked about today is putting 60 minutes together as a defense. That's the goal and what we have to do to give ourselves a chance to win."

The back ups weren't the only guys that got a chance to earn some playing time as Roof played a mixture of second and third team guys the entire second half in the win. While that gave them a chance to play, it also gave the starters a chance to rest and get ready for the showdown with the Bulldogs.

"That was significant as well," Roof said. "Without having an off week yet, and I don't think they (Georgia) have either, to sit them down after the first quarter was big. It was big that they went out and did what they were supposed to do and handled business the right way."

One of the keys for Auburn defensively this week will be up front getting pressure on Murray. With just one sack in Saturday's game and none against Ole Miss the previous week, Roof said getting in the face of the freshman is imperative this week for the Tigers.

"It's critical," Roof said. "With all of the great receivers in this league, especially this year it seems like everybody has got at least one of those 6-4 guys that can run like a gazelle and jump and take the ball away from you. Pass rush is always critical but it's especially critical against a team that throws the ball down the field. They take vertical shots in the passing game. The best way to combat that is pass rush."

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Auburn is second in both of the polls and the BCS and is first in the computer rankings through 10 weeks of the season. Oregon remains first in the BCS standings with a rating of .9638 while the Tigers are close behind at .9611. TCU is third .9259 with Boise State a distant fourth with LSU jumping up to fifth.


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