Tiger QB Knows Bama Game Is Big

Auburn, Ala.--After playing his best half of Auburn football in the third and fourth quarters against the Georgia Bulldogs, quarterback <b>Daniel Cobb</b says he is looking forward to his first chance to be a participant in the Auburn vs. Alabama rivalry.

"All of the players, from special teams on down, have to play their part for us to be successful," Cobb says. "I don't want to say this game is how you will be remembered for the rest of your life, but people are extremely critical of this game because it is so important to so many people. That is why you put so much effort and so much preparation into it."

Cobb will get his opportunity to become part of the lore of the Tigers vs. Tide when the teams square off at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn, which is ranked 17th and 18th this week, is 7-2 overall with a 5-1 league record. A victory, following the 24-17 win at Georgia, would clinch a second straight SEC West title for the Tigers. Bama is 4-5 overall and must upset the Tigers to have a chance at a winning season.

After getting pounded in the first half, especially by Georgia defensive end Charles Grant who was abusing offensive tackle Monreko Crittenden, Cobb was able to enjoy good pass protection most of the second half. With Mark Pera suffering an ankle sprain late in the first quarter, Crittenden was called to go the distance for the first time as a collegian.

"I was proud of Monreko for stepping up in the second half and playing much, much better," says offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. "That was critical to our success."

Cobb agrees and says, "Monreko put his game face on in the second half--no doubt about it. I didn't say anything to him about it. I heard a couple of guys say a few things to him, but it wasn't a case of me grabbing his facemask. It didn't get to that point. I trust Monreko. Everybody makes mistakes and I know he wanted to play good. Grant is cut from the same mold as Alex Brown at Florida. It seems like every year Grant puts his game face on for us. It was good for us to be able to neutralize him a little bit in the second half."

Cobb says the entire offensive line deserves major credit for Saturday's 24-17 victory over Georgia because after the Tigers got the run established that opened up the passing lanes. "We kept the ball for 39 minutes on offense," Cobb notes. "We were just pounding it out there for a while."

Mazzone says Cobb can play better, but adds that he likes what he saw on Saturday. "Daniel did a good job, especially in the second half, of checking us out of a running play into a pass when Georgia had too many players in the box."

Cobb says he made a special effort to avoid interceptions and other risks. He was benched for two series following his only interception of the game, but got the call again when Jason Campbell didn't get the Tigers to the end zone. "I didn't want to force anything," Cobb says. "Especially with the way our defense was playing."

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