Pitts Expects To Be Tested By Bulldogs

Cornerback Montae Pitts has been challenged by his own coaches and will likely be challenged by Georgia's receivers on Saturday.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn defensive coordinator Gene Chizik said after Auburn's 35-14 win over Ole Miss on Oct. 30 that he was unhappy with the cornerback position opposite Carlos Rogers.

Most of his criticism was in the direction of sophomore starter Montae Pitts, but Pitts has since used Chizik's words as inspiration to step up his game. "The coaches ride me hard every day just on little things and making little mistakes," he says. "Sometimes I wonder why they're talking to me when some of the older guys make the same mistakes. He (Chizik) just wants me to be the best player I can be and he's motivated me to do better. I am going to be ready for this Saturday."

Against Ole Miss, Pitts got beat deep by receiver Bill Flowers for a 64-yard touchdown in the third quarter. It was only the first time Pitts has been beaten deep this year, and he says that some of the negative publicity against him over the last week has been undeserved.

"It kind of ticks me off a little bit," he says. "I'm a competitive person and I've only given up one big play all year. I try to keep everything in front of me. I just underestimated and I got out of my back pedal too late and he beat me deep on a great throw.

"I've only given up one big play all year, but they recognize the big play," he adds. "Hopefully, I can just get better for this week coming up."

Some of the criticism Pitts has received could because he's playing opposite of one of the best cornerbacks in the country, Carlos Rogers. Not only does Pitts have more balls thrown his way because of Rogers, but expectations for Pitts are raised as well.

"He's earned his respect," Pitts says. "I'm in the shadow of Carlos. He's teaching me stuff everyday and I'm learning. I have two more years. In the next couple of years maybe the corner opposite of me, ya'll (the media) will be on him."

Sophomore Montae Pitts

Pitts is still working with the number one defense in practice, and redshirt freshmen Zach Gilbert and Patrick Lee have been in the rotation, too. He adds that he'll be ready for the challenge of facing Georgia receivers Fred Gibson and Reggie Brown Saturday.

"I'll most likely be on Gibson and Carlos will be on Brown," Pitts says. "I've just got to stop the deep ball. Coach said they're going to catch the ball because they're great receivers and have an excellent quarterback, but we just have to stop the big plays and keep everything in front of us."


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