Auburn, Ala.--Robenson Therezie says that even though his Auburn football team is out of the competition to win the SEC and national championships the Tigers will arrive in Tuscaloosa on Saturday with plenty of motivation.
The Tigers will take on rival Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium and the senior “star” rover notes it would be “really big” to knock the Tide out of the mix for winning any kind of championship this year.
Therezie says that has been a topic of discussion this week for the Tigers as they continue preparations for their regular season finale that will kick off at 6:45 p.m. CST on Saturday. Last year Therezie was a key player for the Tigers as they won the SEC Championship and just missed knocking off Florida State in the national championship game. This season has been more of a struggle for Auburn for the senior as well as his team.
Earlier in the year the Tigers, who are 15th and 16th in the major polls this week, were ranked higher than Alabama, which is ranked No. 1 or No. 2 depending on the poll.
One of the reasons for Auburn’s slide is that the defense hasn’t performed as well in the second half of the season as it did when the Tigers opened the schedule with five consecutive victories.
Therezie says the Tigers have worked on fixing their defensive issues and are ready to play better on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. He predicts they will arrive at kickoff as a focused football team.
“It is a big week--Bama week,” the senior from Miami says. “Of course, our confidence levels are very high right now. We are expecting to do great things this week and just focus on beating Bama.”
Therezie notes that the Tigers must do a good job of defending the pass against a team that features All-America candidate Amari Cooper. “We face a lot of great receivers like him,” Therezie says. “Obviously, he is like the best receiver in the SEC and in the country.”
Cooper and other Tide receivers have been dangerous running with the football after making receptions. Commenting on the need to tackle well, Therezie says, “It is going to be really important, especially with the receivers. They get a lot of YAC yards after the catch so that is going to be very important for this week, just getting them down as soon as we can.”
Therezie is known as "Cadillac" to his coaches and teammates.
Last season Therezie led the Tigers in interceptions with four and finished with 57 tackles. This year he has 36 tackles and is still looking for his first interception on a team that has 16. Asked to assess his performance in 2014, the senior says he has had “a pretty good year.”
Therezie’s playing time was limited last week as he recovered from a sore shoulder, but notes he will be ready for action this week against Alabama. “I am good now,” he says.