Photo by Jason Caldwell

Blake Countess Contribues To Auburn'sTurnover Turnaround

Blake Countess talks about the Auburn defense as the Tigers prepare for Saturday's home football game vs. their oldest rival, the Georgia Bulldogs.

Blake Countess is congratulated by teammates Jonathan Jones and Carlton Davis (above) following his interception against Texas A&M.

Auburn, Ala.--With three more interceptions vs. Texas A&M the Auburn defense has 11 for the season as the Tigers prepare for Saturday’s rivalry game vs. the Georgia Bulldogs.

Seniors  Blake Countess and Justin Garrett intercepted a pass as did freshman cornerback Carlton Davis.

“We had a plan and we came out and stuck to it, and we executed pretty well and we came out victorious,” said Countess, who joined the Auburn team this summer as a graduate student transfer from the University of Michigan. 

“Good things happen when you get the ball back to the offense,” said Countess, whose team improved to 5-4 with the 26-10 victory over Texas A&M.

Countess, who has two interceptions this season, has contributed to the turnover margin turnaround for the Tigers. After three games Auburn was minus five in turnover margin, but since then the Tigers ae plus 10 and head into Saturday’s home contest vs. Georgia with the third best turnover margin in the SEC.

The Tigers improved their numbers on Saturday night with three picks vs. Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray. “We knew they had a talented freshman who ran around a good bit so we had a package where we put a lot of defensive backs on the field and we knew we were going to have to rotate a lot with the no-huddle stuff they do,” Countess said. “I?think we answered the call pretty well in the secondary. I am excited for what we have next.”

Next is the 119th meeting of the Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for shortly after 11 a.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium and the game will be televised on CBS. Georgia brings a 6-3 record into the contest after defeating Kentucky 27-3 on Saturday.

Countess, who has played cornerback and safety for the Tigers as well as returned kickoffs, goes into the Georgia game as his team’s fifth-leading tackler. He has 28 solo stops and 16 assists. In addition to two interceptions he has seven pass deflections, second on the team, two behind Jonathan Jones.

Commenting on his interception vs. the Aggies, Countess noted that game-week scouting of his opponent helped him make the play.

“It was third down and No. 3 (wide receiver Christian Kirk) does a good job of stemming his roues,”?the senior said. “I had been watching that all week and when he made his cut I went for it and came up with the ball.”

Overall, the Tigers had a solid game defensively on Saturday night, limiting the Aggies to 303 total yards. Countess said that “execution and turnovers” were the key to the defense’s success at Kyle Field.

“We got the ball back three times and we had opportunities for more,”?he said. “Keeping that quarterback in the pocket was big. He makes things happen with his legs and we didn’t want him to do that. I think we did a great job of containing him.”

Now Auburn’s focus turns to containing the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC’s oldest rivalry, a series that is tied at 55-55-8.

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