Chizik Looking For Improvement In Bye Week

Auburn coach Gene Chizik talks about the win over Georgia, the plans for this week, and playing aggressively.

Auburn, Ala.--With 11 up and 11 down the Auburn Tigers finally get a break from the grind of the Southeastern Conference with an off week following the 49-31 win over Georgia that wrapped up the Western Division title for Gene Chizik's club. Without a game until Nov. 26, Chizik said this week the Tigers will focus on getting ready while also getting rested.

"We're obviously very pleased we were able to beat a very tough Georgia team," Chizik said. "We have our first open date we've had all year, which I think comes at a very good time. We're a little bit beat up right now. I think this rest is going to help us.

"With the Iron Bowl coming up in two weeks we've got an extremely tough task at hand. We've got to go and prepare. This week it's going to be imperative that we practice the right amount and rest the right amount and do the right things to get ready for this game because it's going to be a tough one in Tuscaloosa."

After a crazy stretch the last 10 days surrounding quarterback Cameron Newton, Chizik refused to comment on that situation again on Sunday. He did however talk about the play of the junior in the win and what he brings to the table each and every time the Tigers step on the field.

"He's rushed for over 1,000 yards in SEC games," Chizik said of Cam's value. "It's everything. Whether it's third down conversions, what he means in the red zone, he's just a big part of our offense. When the game is on the line he wants the ball in his hands. If there's ever a situation where it's a third and one or fourth and one and the game is on the line or the end of the half, he wants the ball in his hands because he's so competitive. We know that about him and we feel really good about being able to have it in his hands with the game on the line."

Saturday's game was marred by two Auburn ejections in the final minutes to senior defensive linemen Michael Goggans and Mike Blanc for throwing punches following a physical and emotional game against Georgia. Chizik said Auburn will wait to get a clarification from the SEC office because discussing the plays and what took place.

"I'm not really going to comment on that," Chizik said. "We're going to talk to the SEC tomorrow. We'll figure out exactly what the status is at that point.

"The SEC reviews every situation penalty-wise that is reviewable or brought to their attention," he added. "We haven't talked with anybody. We're going to reserve all comments until we get some clarification on exactly what the status of those guys will be. I haven't had that opportunity yet."

Auburn junior defensive lineman Nick Fairley has been called out in recent games and again on Saturday for hitting the quarterback late. Against Georgia it was a Fairley hit that sent quarterback Aaron Murray to the bench in the final minutes just before the altercations took place. It appeared that a blocked Fairley fell into Murray's knee and several times in the game he was actually the one taking some cheap shots from Georgia offensive linemen. Chizik defended Fairley and Auburn's way of playing on Sunday.

"I have seen every play and that's not what we do here," Chizik said. "Everything we're going to do is with great effort. Are we going to make a mistake here or there with intensive effort? Yes that's going to happen because it's human error. I can assure you nothing is ever done intentionally to harm another player. That's not happening."

Auburn will now get some rest time in the coming days before getting back to work on Wednesday. With a good idea of what they want to work on as well as the initial plans for Alabama getting installed later this week Chizik said at the moment all he's looking for is improvement as a team between now and next Friday in Tuscaloosa.

"We're going to go back and look at the last month of football and self exam and see where we can be better as a football team," Chizik said. "Usually bye weeks consist of both who your upcoming opponent is and making sure you go back and re-evaluate yourself. It will be a combination of those things. We're certainly going to spend a lot of time on ourselves."

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