Ratliff was an integral piece of Auburn's defense in the Tigers' 21-13 victory over Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday. The 6-5, 281-pounder piled up seven tackles, three of those being solo stops, and one quarterback hurry as Auburn held the Crimson Tide to 50 yards rushing and less than 300 yards of total offense.
Ratliff had a couple of key stops in the first half with Alabama threatening deep in Auburn territory. The Valdosta, Ga., native made two consecutive tackles with Alabama inside the Tigers' 10-yard line, keeping the Tide out of the endzone and holding them to only a six-point lead at the half.
"I was so glad," Chizik said about Ratliff being honored. "He deserved that. We moved him to the three-technique and he was really reluctant to do that. One day he was for it and the next day he wasn't for it. We weren't going to force him to do something he was adamantly against. So we talked about it a long time and he agreed that it was best for the team and really for him too.
"That's a hard transition right there and for him to play that well Saturday in the last game of the year, and he's been getting better and better all year and is a unknown soldier type of guy, he played real good Saturday and was very active," Chizik added. "He deserved that and I was elated to see that happen for him because he played great Saturday."
Jay Ratliff converges on a Tide player for one of his seven stops on the day.
For the season, Ratliff has 32 tackles, including four for a loss, and one sack. He has also been credited with five quarterback hurries. This award is Ratliff's first player of the week honor this season.
The weekly award is Auburn's 11th of the season, which is a school record. It is also best in the SEC this season. At least one Auburn player has been honored in five of the last six weeks.
Ratliff and the Tigers will next play in the SEC Championship game, Dec. 4 at Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Auburn will play Tennessee with the kickoff set for 5 p.m. CST. The game will be televised by CBS.