Just like it has been through the years, the Auburn team is loaded with players who call the "Peach State" home. For those Tigers, there is no higher football priority than beating the Bulldogs.
Perhaps no one player has a better grasp on this rivalry for Auburn this season than quarterback Daniel Cobb. Once a member of the Bulldog team before injuries forced him to move in a different direction, that direction ultimately leading the senior to the Plains. The Marietta native says that it will be strange to stand on the visitors' sideline in Sanford Stadium that first time.
"It means an awful lot not just for me but for the team, obviously, because of the standings in the west," Cobb says of Saturday's contest. "Me, personally, we get our scouting reports and you look at the defense, the two-deep, and 80 percent of the guys that are on that thing I know. I've been through two-a-days with them and basically had all my freshman and sophomore experiences in college with all these guys. Even though we've kept in touch, we haven't stayed in touch as much as I would have liked to. It's still going to be fun to go out there and see those guys and go against them and to give them our best shot because I know they are going to give us theirs."
Redhirt freshman free safety Donnay Young.
Another Georgia born player who will have some extra motivation this week is free safety Donnay Young. Expected to see his most extensive playing time of the season this week after his solid performances in the last few games for the Tigers, Young says that he's excited about the opportunity to show what he can do and having it come against former high school teammates and friends makes it more special.
"It's nice to be appreciated for working hard," he notes. "I just have to go out there and execute and the team has to execute. It's a big SEC game. It's really important for us to go out and have a good game and play for all four quarters…it's going to be fun. There has been a lot of talking going on since the season started, even before the season when we were at home on the weekends there was some talk. It's going to be fun. It's an SEC game. It doesn't matter who we are playing really, it's an SEC game."
Running back Ronnie Brown.
Yet another Tiger has a different reason for this game to be a little bit special. Coming out of Cartersville (Ga.) High School two seasons ago, running back Ronnie Brown was on everyone's wish list as far as recruiting goes. Everyone that is except for his home state school. While they did finally come around and showed him some interest, he says it was too late and that is one of the reasons he's looking to have a big game this weekend in his return to the tailback spot.
"I'm kind of anxious to get back there a little bit," Brown notes about playing tailback again. "I've been blocking a little more in the past couple of games so I'm anxious to run the ball a little more this week, especially since it's against Georgia.
"At first they weren't recruiting me real hard and Auburn was recruiting real hard along with Tennessee, so those were my first two choices. Then towards the end of my senior season they started recruiting me pretty hard but I had already decided where I was going to go…It always matters when you're from the state and you go back to play them. I think I'm just going to concentrate on what I have to do this week and eliminate the mistakes."
If the Tigers can eliminate the mistakes on offense that have plagued them each of the past two games, they will put themselves in good position to win the game on the road Saturday afternoon. If the SEC showdown comes down to who makes the most plays, you can bet the Georgia boys will have their say in who wins and loses.