Fuel For The Football Soul

Tailback Ronnie Brown talks about the many reasons he'll be fired up this weekend when the Tigers take on the Georgia Bulldogs.

Auburn, Ala.--Much of the last fourdays for the Auburn Tigers have been spent trying to recover from the heartache of Saturday's loss to Ole Miss that eliminated them from the SEC Western Division race.

Playing toe-to-toe with the Rebels for the entire game, Auburn had two chances to win in the final seconds, but just couldn't come up with the play for the victory. Junior tailback Ronnie Brown says that it was a rough couple of days for the entire team to endure.

"I think anytime you lose in that type of way it's pretty hard on everybody," Brown says. "You know when you lose by a lot you're expecting to lose towards the end of the game. In a situation like that the game is played down to the wire. I think everybody takes it hard because we went out and gave all the effort we could and still came out on the losing end."

Unfortunately the Tigers have experience coming back from very disappointing losses as just last season the Georgia Bulldogs snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a last-second touchdown pass from David Greene to Michael Johnson. Brown says that this season's game is going to be a little easier to recover from than last year's and he believes the Tigers will be ready to play in Athens this Saturday.

"I think this situation is a little bit different because of the way that game went and having the next two games as big games," Brown says. "I think it's going to be real easy for us to let the game go and just look forward because these two are such big games. Hopefully, we can do that and get past the last game and look forward to what we have ahead."

Brown breaks loose for a long run against the Bulldogs last season in Auburn.

For Brown last year's loss to Georgia was more painful than most because growing up in Cartersville he followed UGA football. A star athlete and running back for the Hurricanes, Brown garnered attention from Tennessee, Auburn and many others going into his senior season, but by the time the Bulldogs came calling it was too late. He says that gives him a little more juice than normal heading into his last game at Sanford Stadium.

"Growing up I was a Georgia fan and I always wanted to go there," Brown says. "When it came time for me to get recruited at first I was kind of disappointed with the fact that they weren't recruiting me. Towards the end I started kind of taking it personal. At the end of my senior season they started recruiting me a little bit more.

"The more and more we played and went to the state playoffs and then the finals and then went to the state championship, after that they started coming around a little more. I was pretty fortunate to have a good game and win the state championship. They kind of offered me after that, but I think I took it personal that didn't recruit me early in the season."

Auburn's starting tailback last season after Carnell Williams went down with an injury, Brown had a career year for most after rushing for 1,008 yards and 13 touchdowns. His crowning glory came in the Capitol One Bowl against Penn State when he had 184 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries and earned the game's offensive MVP. Still he thinks about what might have been against Georgia, a game in which his 124 yards and one touchdown wasn't quite good enough to get a victory.

"I think we're kind of using that as fuel," Brown says. "We know what happened last season. It was fourth down play, a hail mary type play, and they caught the ball. I think we're using that as fuel because we played such a good game and played hard. For us to lose like that makes us want to go out and play hard for the full game to keep a situation from happening again."


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