Q&A With Senior Hart McGarry

The Tiger guard discusses his last home game, the Auburn vs. Alabama rivlary and the Tiger offense.

Auburn, Ala.--Editor's Note: Senior offensive guard is this week's featured athlete in a question and answer session with Mark Murphy, editor of Inside the Auburn Tigers magazine. McGarry is having his best season and is one of three senior starters on the offensive front.

Hart McGarry

Mark Murphy: Do you realize that you are the only senior scholarship player on the team from the state of Alabama and Don Timmons is the only walk-on senior from the state?

Hart McGarry: Yeah, it's strange man. I looked around and realized that the other day. I feel like a lot of people on our team got us up for the Florida and Georgia games when we were playing their homecoming games. The same is true of the Mississippi games. This week I'm just trying to keep people going."

Mark Murphy: I have seen you improve significantly in the past couple of seasons. Are you still getting better as an offensive lineman?

Hart McGarry: "Yes, I improve everyday. Everyday that you go out there and you work full speed you improve. One thing you've got to learn, and you have to force yourself to learn as a senior, you're out there and you're more experienced than most everybody out there but you still have to realize that you can learn something everyday. You can improve everyday."

Does the 2001 offense still have a lot of room to improve before it plays up to its potential?

Hart McGarry: "Yeah, we've got long way to improve. If we kept playing for another six months I think we'd get better everyday and never stop getting better."

Does the team have a chance for one of its best offensive games this week?

Hart McGarry: "I feel it's coming together. I feel it is really gelling. We've got players now in place that we need to have in place. We got guys with playing experience now. I think we're fixing to really have a come out game."

Mark Murphy: Is the team ready to play well vs. Bama?

Hart McGarry: "Yeah, we're ready to go. Everybody knows that if you have a little injury, nick or bruise you'll play through it right now and get things done."

Mark Murphy: Have the team and coaches done a good job of not getting too excited in practice this week?

Hart McGarry:
"Yeah, I've thought about that, too. Everybody jumping around and yelling all week is not the answer. Yes, it's Bama week. It's true you've got to have enthusiasm, but you have also have got to keep you're concentration up. When you get too excited, you get too pumped up, worked up, you don't concentrate as well I feel. So, yeah, everybody's done a good job of that."

Mark Murphy: Is there satisfaction in exceeding the expectations of the "experts" who picked the Tigers at or near the bottom of the SEC West this season?

Hart McGarry: "Well, when we finish season, I'll come back and answer that in a few weeks and I will be glad to give you an answer on that."

Mark Murphy: What are some of the keys to offensive success this week?

Hart McGarry: "Well, you have got to come out there and get the running game going. Then we've got to add getting the receivers and quarterbacks to execute. And then you have to have the offensive line to protect and then that all comes together. I know the coaches will give us the right plays. All we've got to do is produce. And if we start doing that we can come together to put the points on the board."

What do you remember most about last year's victory over Bama?

Hart McGarry: "It was cold as hell. I remember not being able to feel my fingers and toes. Other than that, there was a little frustration until the buzzer went off. My most profound memory, is being on the sidelines as an offense, about to go back in when the word came in that Arkansas had beaten Mississippi State. You knew that was huge. Once we heard that we knew we were going to Atlanta. The cold went away and everybody just got real excited.

What do you remember about the last Bama game in Auburn back in 1999?

Hart McGarry: "I just remember learning a lot from that game. I learned that you can never give up on somebody and you can never let up in a game like this. We were up 14-6 in the first half and it seems like we were pounding them? We were having a great game, we we executing great and things were going well. Then all the sudden we just got a damn safety and things went down hill from there. I just remember it all going down hill from there. I learned a lot from that game. I learned a lot about staying concentrated and putting them away when we had a chance."

Mark Murphy: Is this game special to you as a senior?

Hart McGarry: "It's important. I mean it's huge. It's a turning point. In my career we're 2-2 against them. This will be three out of five. It also has a lot of circumstances other than that around it, a lot of consequences around the game besides the pride factor. So yes, this means more than any game we've played so far, by far."

What is your opinion of the Tide defensive line you will be playing against on Saturday?

Hart McGarry: "They have some talent. It will be a good game."

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