Auburn, Ala.--As the Auburn football team heads into its 10th game of the season, arriving for Saturday’s road trip to Georgia as rested and as healthy as possible is a major goal for the Tigers, according to Offensive Coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
Commenting on running back Kamryn Pettway, who has been limited in what he can do this week while receiving treatment for a strained quad muscle, Lashlee said. “He was out there today, he was dressed out.”
Pettway was injured in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 23-16 win vs. Vanderbilt. “At this point I would say he is just day-to-day and those kind of things I?really don’t know,” the coach said on when the 240-pound running back will be ready for game action. “Each day we will kind of see how he is doing. We are optimistic he will be back very soon.”
Quarterback Sean White, who was held out of the first half of last week’s victory over Vanderbilt with a shoulder problem, is making progress, the coach said.
“Sean is not going to be limited,” Lashlee declared. “Obviously, he is not 100 percent, but I think you saw on the touchdown pass to Darius (Slayton) last week the ball was probably 30-35 yards in the air.
“I don’t think he is going to be limited in any capacity or we probably wouldn’t put him out there,” Lashlee said. “Is he full go, 100 percent and healthy and fresh like it was the first game? Probably not, but again not a lot of people are. He will be good to go.”
“At this time of year--it’s not just those two guys--every team is banged up,” Lashlee said. “You still have physicality things you do in practice, but a lot of it is mental trying to get your guys to the game knowing the game plan, but as fresh and healthy as they can be each week in and out.”
Asking how important it is to show up in Athens as a quick team on Saturday, Lashlee said, “It is huge. You can’t be running in the mud in our league playing these guys.”
Auburn’s leading receiver, Tony Stevens, has missed the last two games with an injury to his ribs, but is expected to play against the Bulldogs.
Auburn, which is ranked ninth nationally, will take a 7-2 record to Saturday’s game at Sanford Stadium. Auburn is 5-1 in the SEC and has won six consecutive games this season.
Georgia, which is 5-4 overall, is 3-4 in league games. Despite the difference in record, Lashlee contends the Bulldogs will put a talented defense on the field vs. the Tigers.
“They are playing a lot of good talented young players and they play hard,” he said. “They force some turnovers, particularly in the secondary. They give you a bunch of looks, which is something they have always done. Again you know they have given up some big plays here and there at times, but if you look statistically they don’t give up a lot of rushing yards, and well under yards 400 yards of total defense, which is really good this day in age.
“I think you got a guy like Lorenzo Carter, who can really rush the passer. You’ve got guys like Trent Thompson, and a bunch of young talent around him. A lot of guys on both sides of the ball both teams were recruiting so we are really familiar with them.
“ I think overall they are a really solid unit and I think they have gotten better as the year has gone on,” Lashlee added. “You’ve got to understand those kids were learning a different scheme. I know there are a lot of similarities to maybe what Jeremy (former defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt) did, but they are learning a different defense from different coaches. You can see they have gotten better each week.”
In other news and notes:
*Auburn is one of six FBS teams that have not allowed an opponent to score 30 or more points in a game this season.
*The Tigers are ranked fourth nationally red zone touchdowns allowed, giving up TDs 37.93 percent of the time when opponents move inside the Auburn 20-yard line. Overall, the Tigers are ranked 16th in red zone defense with opponents scoring a touchdown or field goal 72.4 percent of the time.
*Saturday’s game will kick off shortly after 2:30 p.m. CST and the game will be televised on CBS with Verne Lundquist doing play-by-play and analyst Gary Danielson along with sideline reporter Allie LaForce.
*The Auburn Sports Network’s radio coverage can be heard on Sirius channel 83 and XM 190. Rod Bramblett will do the play-by-play with Stan White as the analyst, Ronnie Brown as the sideline reporter, Andy Burcham as the locker room reporter and Paul Ellen is the studio host.
*Additional radio coverage will be on the Sports USA network with Mike Morgan doing the play-by-play with Doug Plank as the analyst.