Quoting Gene Chizik: UGA Game Week

Comments from Coach Gene Chizik's weekly press conference are featured as the Tigers prepare to play the Georgia Bulldogs.

Auburn, Ala.--Comments from Coach Gene Chizik's Tuesday press conference previewing this week's Auburn football game at Georgia are featured.

Opening statement:

"We have a great opportunity this week. Obviously this is a tremendous rivalry that we are very excited to play in. I think the week off has certainly helped us just kind of mentally and physically rejuvenate somewhat. We've had some really good practice days. We have a whole other week to prepare, which we'll need to beat this very good team.

"Without question, they're playing as good of football as I've seen them play in a long time. We have our challenges set in front of us. We're really looking forward to going out there and playing and having a lot of fun. Again, we have a whole other week of preparation that we definitely need."

On the bye week being beneficial for quarterback Clint Moseley:

"I think for Clint, specifically, it's invaluable. It's good to come off a win, in really his second start, to get a win and to be able to build on some of those things that we did not so well and some things we did do well.

"It's good to be able to have a week to build on that and kind of go back and really work on us, which is what we spent a lot of time doing last week. We really focused more on Auburn than we did on Georgia by design. I think for him, personally, that was invaluable, but for the whole team, as well."

On needing to be more balanced between the running game and passing game:

"I think that any time you can be 50-50, that's the perfect world. The reality of it is we've always tried to be as balanced as we could. That's one of the things that Gus (Malzahn) and I have continuously talked about and we're on the same page with. However, defenses are doing certain things that just don't allow you to do that, or circumstances in the game don't necessarily always allow you to be as balanced as you'd like.

"That's always the goal going into the game in any game, but again, when the defenses show their hand in terms of what they're going to do, then you have to adapt and adjust on the run and do what's best for you to give yourself and opportunity to move the ball."

On Georgia being different to defend without wide receiver A.J. Green this season:

"They have a lot of talent. They have some very talented, big, physical (receivers). They have the kind of prototypical receivers that have come out of Georgia over the years. The 6-2, 6-3 guys, in one particular case, a 6-5 guy. They have very big, physical receivers. A.J. Green's a very special one, and they don't come along very often, but that certainly doesn't mean they don't have great receivers.

"You have a quarterback who's thrown for more touchdowns than anybody in the league that can get them the ball. They have a great vertical passing attack with those big receivers out there. Although they don't have A.J. Green, they certainly have a lot of guys who can do the job."

On the challenge tailback Isaiah Crowell will give to the Auburn defense:

"A big challenge. Here's a true freshman that has rushed for more than 800 yards, somewhere in there I believe, give or take. He's gaining confidence with each game that goes by. He's a very good running back. He was recruited very heavily coming out of high school for a reason, and that's because he's very good at what he does. He has great vision. He has really good balance. I think you can see week by week, there's a comfort level there with him in terms of how effective he is and how comfortable he feels with his reads running the football. He's an extremely talented back."

On the team needing to play a clean game:

"That's always part of the deal. Unfortunately, some things happened last year that I wish didn't. The bottom line is we're always trying to do things the right way, and I don't expect there to be any issues at all."

On UGA's confidence and playing them on the road:

"Well, I think this is a completely different team that we're facing, as opposed to where they were two years ago when we went in there.

"No. 1, I think the biggest thing, and you can see it when you watch their film, is you have a team that's won that many games in a row, and they are playing with a huge amount of confidence and they're getting better every week.

"Their quarterback has a lot of confidence, defensively they're in the top three in a lot of categories. They're playing really well so it's a very different team that we're facing.

"For us, what we can't do is we can't implode like we did on the road the last time we went, and that is self-destruct with turnovers and big plays given up defensively. Those are the things we can't do. It's no different. We're going into a tough SEC environment, of course the whole place will be electric. There's a lot at stake and what they're playing for. The bottom line is we have to go in there and do the things that allow you to win on the road. You can't have penalties, you can't have negative plays, we can't turn the ball over. We have to minimize any of the explosive plays from them offensively.

"All of those things are going to be a part of the equation for us along with us trying to possess the football and keep it out of their offense, which is extremely potent. I'm not sure there are any new revelations on how to go in there and win, but we know if we don't do a majority of the things I just mentioned, we'll have no chance."

On Auburn's October and November schedules:

"Obviously for them, a lot is at stake. For us, every week a lot is at stake. We're expected to win every week, no matter who we play or where we play them. Our goal is to go in there and beat a very good football team, and that's our goal. For us to be able to do that, we're going to have to play extremely well. Great rivalry, a lot of fun, and it's one of those games where we're going to have to go in and play the best road game we've played, no question about it, and win."

On the rivalry being so close:

"I think when you talk about rivalries, part of what makes a rivalry a rivalry is that there's great competition, and it usually goes back and forth. If you look at 114 games, I think 38 points separates the two teams in 114 tries. I would say if there's anything that constitutes a rivalry, that's probably it. A rivalry is always made up of two teams that usually have something in common and are great competition for and with each other. I don't think you could go back and do the math and think anything other than that's one of the reasons this has been a great rivalry."

On the importance of receivers Emory Blake and Trovon Reed being back"

"It's big for us, there's no question about it. Whether they're at 85 percent or 100 percent, just having them on the field is really big for us in terms of what we call, how we call it. Having Emory back the other night versus Ole Miss, it was obvious in some third-down situations, him making some big catches and things of that nature that were all at the right time, makes a difference for your whole football team."

On the possibility of adding a ninth SEC game to the schedule:

"It would be a challenge, but I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it. We know what this league already entails, and it's tough. Those decisions will be made, like I say every time I get asked about it, we're trying to beat Georgia. The guys who make those decisions obviously do a great job at what they do, so they'll make the right decisions for us."

On his level of concern about Cam Newton possibly being ruled ineligible for the Georgia game last season:

"I've moved on. We're in a new year and a new week. We're excited about it, but that's in the past."

On Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray:

"Just watching him over two years, he is very resilient, he is extremely tough, and he's taken some hits. He's taken some hits, whether it be designed runs, they'll run him on the quarterback draws, they'll run him in the run game, they'll run him on the zone reads or whether it's him taking hits with breakdowns in protections here and there.

"He's just a tough guy, and he showed that in our game last year and he's definitely repeatedly shown that this year. He's just one of those guys, one of those leaders that everybody on offense looks at and probably feeds off of because of not only how well he plays and what he's done productivity-wise, but the element of toughness he brings to the game. You can tell he has that."

On Eltoro Freeman's progression in recent games:

"I'm very proud of him, and I think the last two games have been more of what we have expected from him for a long period of time, but I'm really proud of him coming into his own. He's starting to play football. He's starting to play the game the way he is built to play it, and he's starting to get a comfort level out there.

"He's starting to feel good about fitting in the defense and what his job is and things of that nature, so I'm really proud of him. This is going to be a huge game for him. We need him to be very productive in a week like this, but just overall I'm very proud of where he's come in the last month as a player."


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