Thomas and his Tigers will try to make a better showing in week two as they travel to Atlanta for an SEC vs. ACC matchup as they face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
"I ready to get out there on the field at get back at it and see where we are at," Thomas says. "I want to see how we bounce back. What happened in the first game is a test for us. We are now focusing our thoughts on the next game to how we can improve."
Thomas was in on a team leading 10 tackles in the 23-0 loss to Southern Cal in the opener. He and his defensive teammates played solidly, but got little help from the Tiger offense that was held to 11 first downs and 164 total yards.
"DT played well and all the linebackers played well, but they can still take it to another level," says Joe Whitt, the veteran Auburn linebacker coach.
Saturday's game will be the first time Thomas, a Georgia native, has had a chance to play a football game against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets were an annual opponent of the Tigers for most of the history of Auburn football, but the two teams have not competed in football since the Tigers took a 20-10 victory in 1987.
Dontarrious Thomas (54) is a fifth-year senior from Perry, Georgia.
Thomas says he did know some of Tech's players from previous teams, but notes the guys he knows personally are no longer with the Yellow Jackets. He is familiar with some of Tech's personnel though and says Coach Chan Gailey's team has some good players. "I would like to win this game with me being from Georgia, but the most important thing for me is that this is my senior year and I want to win every week," Thomas says. "I just want to have a good game no matter what happens. I want to be able leave the field holding my head up high saying that I played good football."
Thomas says as disappointing as Auburn's loss to Southern Cal was, the team has not changed its 2003 goals. "We still have the same goals," he notes. "I still think the team is special and so does everybody else, including the coaches. We are not giving up on ourselves. That is the main thing."
Georgia Tech is also 0-1 going into Saturday's game that will kick off shortly after 2:30 p.m. CDT from Bobby Dodd Stadium at Grant Field. The Yellow Jackets lost last Thursday at BYU by a 24-13 score. Auburn will be looking for its 10th straight victory in the series that began in 1892, the first year Auburn played football. "I still think we have confidence enough that we can still do good things with this team," Thomas says.
Tigers Vs. Tech Notes: Georgia Tech was the opponent for the first intercollegiate football game played on the Auburn campus in 1898. The Tigers, coached by John Heisman of Heisman Trophy fame, defeated the Yellow Jackets 29-6. Heisman also coached at Georgia Tech...Auburn's all-time record in games played in the state of Georgia is 82-77-11...Auburn and Georgia Tech played annually from 1902 through 1987 except for 1905 and in 1943 when the Tigers did not field a team due to World War II. Auburn leads the series vs. the Yellow Jackets 47-39-4.